CCPA says federal government's discussion paper shows meeting Kyoto won't mean economic ruin

"Clean energy" credits not necessary
May 15, 2002

(Vancouver) The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) says a federal government discussion paper on the economic costs and benefits of ratifying Kyoto confirms its own findings in a recently released study called Making Kyoto Work: A Transition Strategy for Canadian Energy Workers.

The federal government's analysis shows that the effect on the economy of meeting Kyoto is negligible. Dale Marshall, researcher with the CCPA and author of Making Kyoto Work, says "Canada can do nothing to address climate change and have its economy grow by 31%, or we can meet Kyoto and have growth of between 30.4% and 31.4%. Why wouldn't we do this?"

The discussion paper also points out that there are tremendous economic opportunities in renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative fuels, and public transportation. Renewable energy production could experience annual growth of between 10% and 40%, according to the discussion paper. These opportunities are also well documented in Making Kyoto Work.

However, the federal government should stop considering "clean energy" credits--getting credit for exporting natural gas and hydroelectricity to the U.S. "The deal negotiated in Bonn and Marrakech did not involve these kinds of credits. There is also a huge risk for Canada, since it also imports renewable technology--such as wind turbines--from the U.S. and Europe," says Marshall.

One policy objective not found in the federal document is transition for displaced energy workers. Marshall states, "Even though there is a net gain in jobs in every sector, some workers will lose their jobs. The federal government should commit itself to implementing a transition plan that ensures that those who lose their jobs can find new jobs in emerging energy industries." The CCPA paper outlines such a program, which would cost the government approximately $1 billion over ten years.