Access to Information II : CarbonTax Improves GDP

It's been a busy week with not much time to write - but the recent discussion of yet another report (the 4th so far) silently shelved by the Conservative government has gotten me in the saddle again. A report commissioned in 2007 by the Harper government has shown that carbon taxes benefit both the environment and the economy (exec. summary, full report. Prepared by the consulting firm headed eminent environmental economist Mark Jaccard, the report directly contradicts the Conservative's recent claims that a carbon tax would have apocalyptic effects on both the economy and national unity. Green Party leader Elizabeth May quickly jumped in at the end of last week and re-released the report saying:

“Mr. Harper’s ridiculous claim that taxing carbon will bring about economic ruin and a recession is starkly contradicted by his own research. In fact, this report shows a positive impact on GDP beginning in 2015. With this in the public domain it is clear that Mr. Harper is deliberately distorting the evidence. Mr. Harper’s fear mongering on a carbon tax is a deliberate and premeditated effort to demonize a sensible plan."

The Green Party also drew attention to the report after obtaining it through access to information provisions shortly after its release in 2007. Their re-release is a timely reminder of the Conservative government's practice of covering over reports that it dislikes. As I said the first time I covered this theme, this is no time to be wasting good research. We have got huge challenges ahead, but one of the biggest challenges at the moment is uncertainty, uncertainty about what policies to put in place. Sweeping valuable research under the carpet is totally irresponsible and just plain stupid. So far coverage has been limited to the blogsphere but hopefully the mainstream will pick it up this week (see here, here, here and here)

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This is a blog for news and views on the future of sustainable cites. A major revamp is in the works. Until then I am keeping this version up as an archive of my past writing.

You can expect occasional updates, but not with the same frequency as in the past.

You can also find my writing on urban redesign and sustainability in ReNew Canada, The Mark, Sustainable Cities Canada, WorldChanging, and other more specialized academic publications.

Info on my consulting work, c.v. and current research focus is all here.