LETTER: GDP and carbon pricing

Reader Ron Robinson says carbon emissions are a cost of production, like materials and labour.

When industries and governments want to show how they have contributed to the overall health of the economy, gross domestic product (GDP) tends to be the reference point — the value of goods and services produced. Like most statistics, GDP is not immune from creating illusion.

In the discussion around carbon pricing, our current government has regularly stated that carbon pricing/carbon fee is a “job killer.” It would have a negative impact on GDP. This is where the illusion comes in. The cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions are a real cost of industrial production, just as are raw materials and labour. The big difference being that, until now, the cost of those emissions has been ignored — not a line item on a balance sheet.

Now that we understand greenhouse gas emissions are indeed a real cost of production, it seems obvious that it be recognized and factored in to GDP.

As consumers, having a carbon fee allows us to take on some of the responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions. They never have been free, we just didn’t realize the cost would eventually have to be paid. The good news is that there are many different versions of carbon pricing, all of which allow for a transition to sharing the real cost of emissions.

Carbon pricing is one of the easiest ways to get started in dealing with a problem that is global in scale. It is only part of a series of complex policy decisions that will need to be made by governments at all levels.

Ron Robinson


Just Posted

Castlegar daycare selected for univeral child care pilot program

MLA Katrine Conroy presents letter of acceptance to the program to the Children’s Centre at Selkirk College

Kootenay region posts 10-per-cent return rate on electoral reform ballots

As of Nov. 13, only 5.3 per cent of ballots had been returned province-wide

Talking transgender issues with Nelson advocate

Nov. 20 is the Transgender Day of Remembrance

Leafs Roundup: Nelson adds a win and a tie on two-game road trip

Nelson native Reid Vulcano scored in his KIJHL debut

Over 120 people to lend a hand at Community Connect

The annual event offers free services at Central School

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Most Read