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Archive for 'carbon pricing'

Absolving our Carbon Sins: the Case of the Pacific Carbon Trust

Last week’s report from BC’s Auditor General dealt a huge blow to the credibility of carbon offsets and claims that BC had achieved a state of “carbon neutral government.” Coverage of the AG’s report was coloured by accusations from the Pacific Carbon Trust, the Crown corporation created to buy and sell BC offsets, and “experts” from the offset […]

Carbon bubbles and fossil fuel divestment

Divestment from fossil fuels is an idea whose time has come. Sparked by Bill McKibben’s Rolling Stone article last summer, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math”, divestment campaigns are now up and running on over 300 university campuses in the US, with 4 early victories already notched. Students in Canada have declared tomorrow (March 27) Fossil Fools Day, a national day […]

GHG Cap & Trade

This is a guest blog post written by Whitehorse-based economist, Luigi Zanasi.  Please feel free to comment.  Also, please note that this was written before Marc’s blog post of Jan. 14 re: BC’s carbon tax. – Towards a fair cap & trade system for GHG emissions In the last two federal elections, the NDP quite […]

What’s next for BC’s carbon tax?

An oped of mine was published by the Vancouver Sun today: What’s next for BC’s carbon tax? Marc Lee Climate change forced its way onto the political agenda in 2012, as Hurricane Sandy ripped through the northeast United Stages just days before the election. And while action remains frustratingly slow, extreme weather disasters in the […]

Marc’s Letter from 2040

The following comes from a short talk on a vision for a zero-carbon BC that I gave at a couple events this Fall. Many have asked for the text so I’ve posted it here, and we may try and turn it into a video. That said, I have been reluctant to do so up to […]

What’s Next for BC’s Carbon Tax?

The Minister leading up BC’s Carbon Tax Review, Kevin Falcon, may be gone – his departure came just as the deadline for submissions was closing – but the carbon tax lives on. For now. Back in 2008 when the carbon tax was announced, it was scheduled to rise from an initial level of $10 per […]

A Green Industrial Revolution

Today the CCPA released a new big picture report by myself and student researcher Amanda Card calling for a Green Industrial Revolution. The report builds on work done for the BC-focused Climate Justice Project, bringing to bear a national analysis of green and not-so-green jobs. We take a close look at GHG emissions and employment […]

Climate change will shape BC in 2035, one way or another

I have an oped in today’s Vancouver Sun as part of its BC in 2035 series. Climate change will shape BC in 2035, one way or another We live on a different planet from the one our parents grew up on, says environmentalist Bill McKibben. Climate change from our rampant combustion of fossil fuels has […]

Who Occupies the Sky?

CCPA released a new report today by myself and Amanda Card that makes the links between inequality and carbon footprints. We look at the distribution of greenhouse gas emissions for Canada, building on an analysis of BC emissions. While it was not planned this way, the analysis is timely given the Occupy movement’s focus on […]

Fighting energy poverty and the transition to zero-emission housing

Today CCPA released a new Climate Justice Project report, Fighting Energy Poverty in the Transition to Zero-Emission Housing: A Framework for BC, by yours truly, Eugene Kung (a lawyer with the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre and a steering committee member of the CJP) and Jason Owen (who worked on this project as a student at UBC, now with the […]

Notes on the social cost of carbon

A recent paper by Ackerman and Stanton did some re-estimates of the Social Cost of Carbon, finding this measure of the externality (or costs imposed on third parties) from burning fossil fuels could be as high as $893 per tonne of CO2, rising to $1,500 per tonne by 2050. These are extreme estimates, but they […]

Decarbonizing homes and the price of gas

Our climate justice framework for BC is to eliminate fossil fuels by 2040. In the household sector, this poses a significant challenge, not so much in terms of technology and knowledge, but because natural gas is much cheaper than electricity per unit of energy. Even though BC has among the lowest prices in North America, […]

Deconstructing BC’s carbon neutral government

Besides the carbon tax, one of the most important BC government climate action initiatives has been the adoption of Carbon Neutral Government. That is, count emissions from public buildings and travel, reduce them as much as possible and pay for carbon offsets to negate the rest. As of the 2010 calendar year, the BC government […]

A billion dollars of bogus carbon credits

A story in today’s Vancouver Sun is disturbing, arguing that BC could make $1 billion from selling carbon offsets once the Western Climate Initiative gets underway. The projects are mostly in forest management and conservation, meaning less cutting and more sequestration of carbon in the forests themselves. The conservation part is undoubtedly a good thing […]

Look to Europe for Next Phase of BC’s Carbon Tax

Below is an oped on my new carbon pricing paper that was published today in the Vancouver Sun. Our communications officers have also done a cool animation about carbon pricing in BC, available on the CCPA web page. Look to Europe for Next Phase of BC’s Carbon Tax When it comes to good urban planning, […]

Next generation carbon pricing

Climate change is upon us – it feels like we see evidence almost daily in the form of extreme weather events, floods, drought, reductions in food supply, and so on. We have a lot of work to do to transform our economy from one still dominated by a resource extraction mindset, where we cut taxes […]

What’s Canada’s Carbon Debt?

Martin Khor, of the South Centre, has done an interesting analysis for the (doomed) Cancun negotiations on climate change. The talks have broken down on north-south lines, with southern countries wanting to keep the Kyoto framework that puts the onus on northern (advanced, industrialized) countries to reduce emissions and give carbon space to southern countries […]

Luxury carbon

I was talking about carbon pricing and BC’s carbon tax recently and Michael Byers asked me about the prospects for a progressive carbon tax in terms of its rate structure. My first answer was that I liked the idea but was not sure how that could work in practice; that is, tax carbon and deal […]

Past peak oil, no emission reductions in sight

The International Energy Agency released its World Energy Outlook the other day, and made some headlines by calling 2006 the year of peak oil production. People have different perspectives on the topic of peak oil – many see it as the point upon which civilization as we know it will collapse; with my climate change […]

Upset about offsets

A recent story on offsets reported in the Tyee caught my eye. In a nutshell, a residential subdivision development on Denman Island was prevented from going ahead in part because of the magic of carbon offsets. First of all, more conservation by preventing this type of development is a good thing. But in what way […]

The trouble with flying

I just got back from a conference in Geneva where I was asked to speak to trade unionists from around the world about our BC climate justice project. In addition to this great opportunity to share information about green jobs and climate policy with a friendly audience, it was also an eye-opener to be in […]

BC’s revenue negative carbon tax

BC’s carbon tax was supposed to be “revenue neutral”, meaning all carbon tax revenue would be “recycled” to British Columbians through personal income tax cuts, corporate income tax cuts and a low-income credit. When the 2008 budget launched the carbon tax, we were provided with a forecast that had revenues precisely match recycling through tax […]

The Western Climate Initiative: another baby step

It has been a while but this week climate change is back in the news cycle. The front page of today’s Globe reports on the latest climate impacts tally: The report …  concluded 2000 to 2009 was the warmest decade ever, and the Earth has been growing warmer for 50 years. Each of the past […]

Gas prices and consumption

On a weekend getaway to Washington state, I was alarmed at how much cheaper gas prices are south of the border. Typically, we paid $3 per gallon, whereas the price in Vancouver upon our return was $1.16 per litre, which is $4.39 per gallon (with the exchange rate roughly parity over the weekend). This is […]

BC’s carbon tax turns two

With all of the attention focused on the HST implementation on July 1, most people seemed to miss the next increment of that other much-hated tax, BC’s carbon tax. As of July 1, the carbon tax is now $20 per tonne of CO2, or about 4.6 cents on a litre of gasoline. And like any […]

The Distribution of GHGs in BC

I have a short Climate Justice publication out for Earth Day today, looking at the breakdown of greenhouse gas emissions by income quintile in BC, then asking what is fair when it comes to mitigation policies. I draw on some fairness criteria from the international literature on fair emission reductions, and test out two stylized […]

Different perspectives on GHG emissions

When emissions are reported for the US or Canada, there is an accounting convention that restricts the total to emissions released within the borders of that jurisdiction. This means that Canada’s exports of tar sands oil are counted only to the extent that fossil fuels are used in the extraction and processing, not the combustion […]

Climate inaction and BC’s budget

The 2010 BC Budget was a disappointment on the climate action front. Even as Premier Campbell waxed in the Globe about the impact of climate change on the 2010 Spring Games – with its sunny days, crocuses, daffodils and by the end, cherry blossoms making it fun for people on the street but a big […]

Copenhagen countdown: upset about offsets

The biggest international meeting on climate change, perhaps since Kyoto itself, is coming up in early December in Copenhagen. But the closer we get to Copenhagen, the farther away an agreement seems to be. Sadly, there has been precious little coverage of the ongoing negotiations in the mainstream media, further demonstrating the increasing irrelevance of […]

Dealing with Climate Change, the Economy and Jobs

The David Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute should be thanked for their efforts to put forward an integrated economic and emissions reduction strategy for Canada. The study was done to their specifications by M.K. Jaccard and Associates. http://www.davidsuzuki.org/latestnews/dsfnews10290901.asp The really important bottom line of this study is that aggressive action to deal seriously with […]