Scheer’s climate plan would cost more, increase emissions more than Liberal policies: report
Published Thursday, July 11, 2019 5:14PM EDT
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer's proposed climate plan would cost households more money and result in more emissions than the Liberal government's current plan, according to a new report.
The analysis was put together by Environeconomics, an environmental policy advisory group, and Canadians for Clean Prosperity, a group that seeks political support for "market-based policies that generate growth while conserving our environment," according to their website. The two groups declare at the outset of their newly-released document that they "neither support nor oppose any political party."
The report also claims the Conservative plan would miss the Paris Agreement by a larger margin than the current Liberal plan.
In their analysis of the plan that Scheer has described as Canada's "best chance" to meet the Paris targets without a carbon tax, the authors found the plan would increase emissions by 9.1 megatonnes in 2022. That’s relative to the predicted emissions for that year based on existing and announced measures from the Liberals.
It goes on to say that by 2022, the Tory plan would carry a price tag that amounts to $3.8 billion more than the current set of Liberal policies and proposals– including the savings that would come from scrapping the carbon tax and the proposed Clean Fuel Standard.
That works out to an average cost-per-household of $295 in 2022. The report acknowledges that provinces without the federal carbon tax in place would be "less adversely impacted," facing increased costs of just $187 per household.
As for the Paris targets, the current Liberal plan is on track to miss them with a gap of 79 megatonnes. Scheer's plan would widen that gap to 109 megatonnes, according to the report's authors.
Scheer's office rejected the report, calling into question the motivations of the group behind it.
"There are some people out there who believe that only carbon taxes can fight climate change. This specific group has never seen a carbon tax that was high-enough, and have appeared to design this study to support their pro-carbon tax agenda," Brock Harrison, Scheer’s director of communications, said in a statement emailed to CTV News.
He added that the study "completely discounts the long-term benefits of incentivizing green innovation – both in terms of reducing emissions and the cost of reducing emissions."
"It's hard to take seriously any analysis that doesn't take this into account," Harrison said.
The report's authors did explore the possibility that some of Scheer's proposed policies could be scaled up to try to "increase the ambition" of their plan. It pinpointed the large emitter program –which proposes empowering large scale polluters to pilot or adopt emissions-reducing technology – as the obvious tool to scale up, given its lower cost compared to other aspects of the plan.
"Could the large emitter program…be scaled to close the gap? The simple answer is no, not without creating serious competitiveness harm," the report says.
Still, Harrison maintains that "there are better and more affordable ways to fight climate change."
"This plan prioritizes green technology over taxes and takes the fight against climate change global," he said.