Climate policy expert and former government advisor gives Canada a failing grade
Mark Jaccard, an SFU School of Resource and Environmental Management professor, internationally known as a high-level government advisor on climate policy, has just issued his latest evaluation of Canadian federal climate policy: Canada's Climate Policy Report Card: 2015. He gives the Harper government a failing grade.
"Since its 2006 commitment to reduce Canadian greenhouse gas emissions substantially by 2020, and then profoundly by 2050, the Canadian government has done almost nothing that would reduce emissions," says Jaccard. "Its two so-called climate policies – regulations on future new coal plants and new vehicles – will have no material effect in the 2020 timeframe. After nine years, virtually all GHG emissions in Canada are neither regulated nor priced by the federal government."
Jaccard notes that the only noticeable reductions in Canadian emissions occurred because of the 2008-2010 economic downturn and the 2004-2014 closure of coal plants by the government of Ontario. Because of federal inaction, Canadian emissions will continue to rise, driven in large part by growing oil sands production.
Jaccard has conducted similar policy evaluations for national and provincial governments in Canada. During the Liberal government of Jean Chretien, he produced evaluations of its climate policy as a research fellow at the CD Howe Institute. In 2007, he was asked by Conservative Minister of Environment, John Baird, to assess the likely costs of Canada achieving its Kyoto target, given the inaction and ineffective policies of the Chretien government.