National Roundtable Climate Expert challenges NDP policy position

The chair of the National Roundtable on the Economy and the Environment (NTREE) dismissed the B.C. NDP’s claim today that the party’s cap-and-trade scheme would punish polluters and save money for consumers.

Whether you manage climate change with a carbon tax or with cap and trade, “the price is going to be paid for by the consumer one way or another and I don’t see that as the major difference between the two systems,” Bob Page told CKNW talk show host Bill Good.

Center for Policy Alternatives Economist sees BC Carbon Tax as good first step

Yes politics does make for strange bedfellows.

On CKNW today, economic commentator Michael Levy was discussing the BC provincial election and the BC Carbon Tax when he out pointed that an economist for the Center for Policy Alternatives is in favor of the BC government’s carbon tax policy.

Here’s a transcript:

Global TV's Keith Baldry: NDP sells environmental soul

Global Television’s Chief political correspondent Keith Baldry has published an opinion piece today on the BC NDP’s stance on the carbon tax and climate change.

Baldry writes:

“The NDP’s opposition to the carbon tax – a position that is the starting point for its entire platform – appears to be based on two reasons: it was unpopular when it was introduced last summer because the price of gasoline was so high at the time, and it was a B.C. Liberal creation, so therefore it must be bad.”

Here’s the entire column: NDP sells environmental soul

Standing on Principle: Explaining the DeSmogBlog's Position on the BC Election

An election campaign is unfolding in the Canadian province of British Columbia over the next month, the outcome of which could have important implications all over North America and, ultimately, around the world.

A central issue in this provincial political squabble is a carbon tax - according to most analysts, the least-expensive, most effective and most transparent of climate change solutions (check this report, for example from the U.S. Congressional Budget Office [PDF]).

But if carbon taxes are popular among economists, they are widely regarded as toxic among voters - as any new tax is likely to be. That’s why the B.C. election is so important. For people outside this jurisdiction, it is being seen not so much as a minor election in a distant place, but as a referendum on carbon taxes. The assumption here is that if the tax fails here, it won’t be worth trying anywhere in North America.

Leading Canadian climate scientist calls BC NDP policies "regressive and counter-productive"

One of Canada’s top climate scientists - a Nobel-winning lead author on each of the last three reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - has written an opinion piece in the Victoria Times Colonist, denouncing the BC New Democratic Party for its opposition to the BC carbon tax.

Accusing the NDP of making “demonstrably false assertions” in its attack on the carbon tax, University of Victoria Professor Andrew Weaver says:

“The NDP’s so-called environmental platform is regressive and counter-productive. I hope our message to the world from the election is that political opportunism, gimmickry and short-sightedness doesn’t work with B.C. voters; British Columbians truly care about the environment and intergenerational equity.”

Weaver is also the author of the excellent book, Keeping our Cool: Canada in a Warming World.

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