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CanadaAndrew Coyne: Conservative climate change ‘plan’ is really more of a prop

13:05  22 june  2019
13:05  22 june  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

National climate emergency declared by House of Commons

National climate emergency declared by House of Commons The motion describes climate change as a "real and urgent crisis, driven by human activity, that impacts the environment, biodiversity, Canadian's health, and the Canadian economy." The motion declares that "Canada is in a national climate emergency which requires, as a response, that Canada commit to meeting its national emission target under the Paris Agreement and to making deeper reductions in line with the agreement's objective of holding global warming below two degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer outlines his climate - change platform in Chelsea, Que., on June 19, 2019. The “ Real Plan ” is not intended to be a serious policy proposal. It is, essentially, a prop , a “ plan ” the Conservative leader can wave about during the election campaign when the Liberals

climate change ‘ plan ’ is really more of a prop : National climate emergency declared by House of Share this story. Andrew Coyne : Parties' climate change policies range from the inadequate to the Indeed, the most recent of these found, far from making progress towards our commitments, we

Andrew Coyne: Conservative climate change ‘plan’ is really more of a prop© Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer outlines his climate-change platform in Chelsea, Que., on June 19, 2019.

(Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.)

The second clue that the Conservative climate change plan is a work, essentially, of mischief — an intentionally pointless bit of misdirection — is to be found on the inside title page. “Please consider the environment,” it reads, “before printing this document.”

How they all must have laughed. Boilerplate though it may be in other workplaces, the idea of Conservative HQ being one of those places is something of a joke in itself. But the meta-delights of pretending to be so — of, in effect, parodying their environmentalist critics, in broad daylight — must have been irresistible.

May The Only Federal Leader Who Showed Up At Climate Emergency Debate

May The Only Federal Leader Who Showed Up At Climate Emergency Debate OTTAWA — The House of Commons passed a motion Monday evening declaring climate change a national emergency, and Green Party Elizabeth May was the only federal leader present during the debate. “Procrastination has left us where we are right now. There’s no time for incrementalism anymore,” May said. Watch: Elizabeth May says climate debate is happening in an era of ‘extreme cognitive dissonance’ The motion, tabled by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna last month, recognizes climate change as a “real and urgent crisis, driven by human activity” marked by extreme weather events.

Andrew Coyne : Conservative climate change ‘ plan ’ is really more of a prop . Rex Murphy: Scheer and Trudeau both continue their tiresome climate Fortunately for Scheer, most voters favour a fig leaf policy that says they care but which doesn’t cost — at least that ’s the impression left by a CBC

Andrew Coyne : Conservative climate change ‘ plan ’ is really more of a prop . Not to mention the new refineries. The Green Climate Change War Cabinet (a real thing they want) would permit “investment in upgraders to turn Canadian solid bitumen into gas, diesel, propane and other products

And the first clue? It’s right there in the title: A Real Plan to Protect Our Environment. A plan it may be — the word plan appears in it, after all, 95 times! — but the strongest impression it leaves is of how unreal it is: again, intentionally so.

It isn’t that the “real plan” that bills itself as Canada’s “best chance to meet its Paris targets” for reducing greenhouse gas emissions contains no estimates of how much its measures would, in fact, reduce our emissions. Nor is it that, while the plan’s signature proposal would require heavy industry to meet certain “emissions standards” or invest “a set amount” in green technology for every tonne they exceed their standard, it nowhere spells out what either the standards or the amounts are.

The Liberals review Andrew Scheer’s climate plan. Spoiler: They don’t like it.

The Liberals review Andrew Scheer’s climate plan. Spoiler: They don’t like it. Paul Wells: Ministers have been eagerly pre-butting Scheer’s credibility. Not that their own party has much to brag about.

Share this story. Andrew Coyne : Parties' climate change policies range from the inadequate to the Indeed, the most recent of these found, far from making progress towards our commitments, we are That has brought charges from the Conservatives that the Liberals have another, secret plan , one

WatchAndrew Coyne : Conservative climate change ‘ plan ’ is really more of a prop . At least we know what the Liberal plan is , how far it will get us, and how much it You really can’t say the same for the Conservative Terence Corcoran: Why the global fossil-fuel phase-out is fantasy akin to time travel.

Perhaps, to be fair, the details are to come. It’s the whole philosophy — “technology, not taxes” — that’s wrong. Whether or not a government-mandated investment is really all that different from a tax, it suffers from at least two problems that a carbon tax does not.

One, how do we know that the business would not have made the investment anyway? And two, how do we know that the investment is genuinely of a kind that would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions? With a carbon tax, the answer is simple: firms will make whatever investments prove helpful to them in reducing their emissions, up to the point where the cost of the investment is just equal to the cost of the tax.

Scheer to reaffirm Paris targets in climate speech

Scheer to reaffirm Paris targets in climate speech OTTAWA—Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will pitch his climate change plan as Canada’s best chance to achieve the Paris climate agreement’s targets despite abandoning the Liberal government’s carbon tax. Scheer will announce his long-awaited “vision” for the environment in a speech in picturesque Chelsea, Quebec on Wednesday. Conservative sources, who spoke to the Star on the condition they not be named, said Scheer will keep his party committed to the Paris targets — an international goal aimed at limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees C.

The National Post: “ Conservative climate change ‘ plan ’ is really more of a prop ”. The Post’s Andrew Coyne wrote a piece about Scheer’s misplaced priorities. Journalist Jim Harding speaks to the proven benefits of a federal carbon tax in his opinion piece criticizing Scheer’s plan .

Worried about climate change ? Worried even more about the federal government’s plan to tackle climate change by taxing carbon? Relax. Andrew Scheer has a plan . Or at least, he will. “We will be unveiling a very detailed and comprehensive plan ” in time for the next election

But with the Tory plan, you need someone, let’s call it the government, to regulate, inspect and verify the whole thing. Thus the government will be involved in “determining the eligibility of green technology investments,” issuing “Green Investment Certificates,” though not before “a technical assessment” to determine “whether a specific project, investment, fund, or other instrument supports the development or adoption of emissions-reducing technology.” And thus “we will establish an auditing function” to ensure “that investments are incremental.”

Of course, much the same problem afflicts the Tories’ other big initiative, or rather reinitiative (it’s a revival of a policy brought in by the Harper government): the Green Homes Tax Credit, which will pay homeowners 15 cents for every dollar they invest in “green improvements to their home” — better insulation, high-efficiency furnaces and so forth — up to $20,000.

Again, how do you know people wouldn’t have made the same investments anyway, just to save money on their energy bills? You don’t, meaning much of the subsidy is wasted. But also: which sorts of “improvements” would qualify? Again, the government would have to define and enforce these, meaning more bureaucracy and red tape.

Tax credits, penalizing big polluters, key to Conservative climate plan

Tax credits, penalizing big polluters, key to Conservative climate plan OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says his climate plan will be "Canada's best chance" to hit its targets under the Paris climate-change agreement and that it can happen without a carbon tax. 

But it was Andrew Yang who actually deployed a hyper- conservative argument on Wednesday night—albeit one that had somehow time traveled from the year 2080. Asked in very general terms about his climate - change plan , Yang, a former technology executive, made a few points.

What is climate change ? The Earth's average temperature is about 15C but has been much higher and lower in the past. The effects of a changing climate can also be seen in vegetation and land animals. These include earlier flowering and fruiting times for plants and changes in the territories of

More critically, the list could only extend to those things it occurred to the government to put on it. Contrast with a carbon tax, which contains a built-in incentive for people to find ways to save on their own, in whatever myriad ways might occur to them. Yes, without a cookie from the government. Conservatives used to like that sort of thing.

As for the third leg of the Tory plan, claiming credit for reductions in emissions achieved in other countries by the substitution of “clean” Canadian technology for whatever “dirty” equivalent they are currently using — Canadian natural gas, say, in place of coal — there’s nothing wrong with it in principle. And, indeed, the Paris agreement contains a provision making allowance for such international transfers of credit, under certain conditions.

But two countries can’t both claim credit for the same reductions. And under the Paris agreement the default rule is that reductions are credited to the country where they occur. Maybe we can persuade those countries to give us the credit instead. But we’ll have to make it worth their while.

There’s a lot of other stuff in there that has nothing to do with climate change, really. A “Green Patent Credit,” slashing taxes on income generated from green inventions, or “Green Technology Fund”? These will do nothing to reduce Canada’s emissions. They’re just another form of industrial policy — governments betting their hunches with other people’s money. Conservatives used to dislike that sort of thing.

Tax credits, penalizing big polluters, key to Conservative climate plan

Tax credits, penalizing big polluters, key to Conservative climate plan OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says his climate plan will be "Canada's best chance" to hit its targets under the Paris climate-change agreement and that it can happen without a carbon tax. Scheer outlined his climate policy in the backyard of a private home in rural Chelsea, Que., Wednesday evening, not far from where flooding linked to climate change hit for the second time in three years this spring. Flies and mosquitoes swarmed and a handful of protesters gathered on the gravel road in front of the property. © Provided by Canadian Press Enterprises Inc"Conservatives fundamentally believe that you cannot tax your way to a cleaner environment," Scheer said.

Many more Republicans are uncomfortable making accusations of corruption and conspiracy against so much of the scientific community, but they Conservatives seem to be on the horns of a dilemma: They will have to either continue to ignore real scientific findings or accept higher taxes, energy

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says his climate plan will be "Canada's best chance" to hit its targets under the Paris climate - change agreement and that it can happen without a carbon tax. Andrew Coyne : Conservative climate change ‘ plan ’ is really more of a prop .

But of course the point of the plan wasn’t so much to say what the Tories would do, as what they wouldn’t. And what they won’t do, if you were wondering, is a carbon tax.

The document repeats all of the party’s talking points on the tax: that it “makes life harder and less affordable for Canadians” (no mention of the offsetting rebates, which the Parliamentary Budget Office has found would more than compensate most households for the cost of the tax), that “families just trying to pay their bills do not always have the flexibility to make different choices” (they still come out ahead, netting the tax against the rebate: they just don’t get to keep as much as they might have otherwise), and so on.

The “Real Plan” is not intended to be a serious policy proposal. It is, essentially, a prop, a “plan” the Conservative leader can wave about during the election campaign when the Liberals demand to know “what’s your alternative.”

It is true that the Liberal plan, as currently stated, will not meet our Paris commitments, either, and that it will fall short largely because they are unwilling, for political reasons, to rely on carbon pricing for more than a fraction of the overall reductions required. But at least we know what the Liberal plan is, how far it will get us, and how much it will cost. You really can’t say the same for the Conservative plan.

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Andrew Scheer’s climate plan will be less efficient and more expensive.
There’ll be money to encourage homeowners to retrofit their houses and increase energy efficiency. Businesses will be eligible for tax breaks to develop eco-friendly technology. Big industrial polluters will be forced to invest in R&D for “emissions-reducing technology.” But wait, there’s more! There’ll be a Green Patent Credit and a Green Technology and Innovation Fund. Plus a Green Hub for Innovation, not to mention plans to deal with invasive species and wetlands and migratory birds and, oh yes, plastic waste.

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