In the Chamber -- Grant Mitchell's Blog

Obama’s Cap and Trade Policy

Posted 2/18/2009 by Grant Mitchell


We are finally going to get a climate change policy in Canada. It will be a cap and trade approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a policy which comes with a carbon credit market.


It will not be a “made-in-Canada policy”, the Conservative mantra used early in its first term to disparage efforts to deal with this serious problem. We will simply try to catch onto Obama’s environmental coattails.  Nor will it use “Russian hot air”, another mantra the Conservatives used to dismiss carbon credits that they should now know are integral to a cap and trade policy.


The concern that I have is that there is no obvious (and probably very little effort at all) to prepare Canadian farmers and businesses for this cap and trade policy. This government is not providing leadership in preparing companies to meet the caps imposed by a US driven policy nor are they preparing companies and farmers to take advantage of future lucrative opportunities in the carbon credit market.


The inevitable danger will be that Canadian companies will have to buy US credits to make their caps. Revenue from the sale of carbon offsets will be going to US businesses instead of Canadian ones. It will also elude farmers who provide net carbon reductions through better farming practices simply because the government has not set up an adequate market.


What we need right now is the development of caps for Canadian businesses, and a Canadian market for carbon credits.  What a great way to provide stimulus for the economy. What we also need is a government with the foresight to get ahead of this “curve” in order to get Canada ahead of the “Obama curve” and the carbon revolution that he will ignite (pun intended). How do we ever get that message through to them?

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