LETTER: Stand up for the climate

The steep cuts needed on greenhouse gas emissions will require a steadily-rising fee on carbon, which is possible.

The road to a 2015 global warming agreement in Paris passes through New York City on September 23 at the UN Climate Summit.

The steep cuts needed on greenhouse gas emissions will require a steadily-rising fee on carbon, which is possible if we give revenue from that fee back to the people.

In 2010, Canada and the US signed the weak and non-binding Copenhagen Accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, Canada is not on track to meet this international commitment.

A 2013 Canada 2020 climate poll revealed that 76 per cent of Canadians believe Canada should sign an international climate change agreement, even if it means doing so before China and the US.

In lieu of an effective and binding global agreement, Canada most certainly can lead by example and also provide the incentive for other nations to follow our lead.

We don’t need to use cap and trade with offsets.

There is a simpler approach: implementing a steadily-rising fee on carbon-based fuels that returns revenue to households. By including border tariffs on goods from nations that lack an equivalent price on carbon, we provide a strong economic incentive for other nations to follow that lead, including our biggest trading partner the US.

The message to other nations would be loud and clear: If your businesses wish to compete in lucrative Canadian markets, you must put a price on carbon.

As of today, PM Stephen Harper has indicated he is not going to the Climate Summit.

I ask everyone reading this who wants to live in a safe and healthy world to write, email, or telephone our PM to inform him that you want Canada to take action on carbon pollution and institute a carbon fee and dividend program.

Contact info is at http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/contactpm


Michael Jessen

Citizens Climate Lobby, Nelson Chapter

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