“Offering up unrealistic targets, heavier tax burdens on families
and businesses, and distortionary energy policies that favour
higher-cost but unreliable solar and wind power will undermine
Canada’s economic performance with little impact on
global GHG emissions.”
Despite what you might hear from certain Canadian politicians, governments everywhere are starting to back away from anti-carbon policies as the backlash from voters continues to mount.
We see it in Germany where they’ve begun returning to coal power. We see it in the cancellation of green subsidies in the U.K., Portugal and Spain. And there are even signs of it in Ontario, which suspended plans for $3.8 billion in new renewable contracts.
Something largely lost in the media flurry over President Trump’s executive orders was the Republican Congress’s unravelling of notable fossil fuel regulations. The House passed two resolutions last week: one rescinding “war-on-coal” water-quality standards, and another rescinding a rule requiring energy companies to report payments made to governments to extract oil, gas and minerals.
This is just the start. The Republicans will roll back more regulations. President Trump will likely withdraw from the Paris COP21 agreement with its weak, King-Canute-like commitments to keep temperatures rising no more than 1.5 degrees by 2100. The United States will likely decline to advance climate policies for at least four more years. But is it behaving any differently than other countries?
In a recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper, Yale University economist William Nordhaus, a strong proponent of climate policies, shows that government efforts have globally done little to reduce GHG emissions. Only the EU has implemented national carbon policies and even those were very modest. Nordhaus aptly calls all the empty talk from so many governments, from South America to Scandinavia, the “Rhetoric of Nations.”
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