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

Nelson

Just Posted

Leafs add 2 players at KIJHL trade deadline

Nelson also traded defenceman Tyson Soobotin to Castlegar

VIDEO: Kootenay drug users fight stigma with video series

The multi-part series from ANKORS is meant to align with the goals of the Nelson Fentanyl Task Force

Nelson police warn of counterfeit money in city

The department says it has received multiple reports of fake Canadian and U.S. cash

Nelson library asks city for 2 per cent funding increase

The increase would cover inflation, increased use, stagnant provincial funding, and a negotiated wage increase

Trail cannabis shop gets green light from province

The Higher Path hopes to open doors in next couple of weeks

VIDEO: Monday Roundup

The Star’s weekly news roundup

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Most Read