University of Alberta professor Debra J. Davidson says what needs to be said about Canada and the environment. Trump’s administration cannot be used as an excuse to slack off.
Interim Conservative Party leader Rona Ambrose has called Canada’s plans to put a price on carbon “complete insanity.” We must follow the lead of our primary trading partner, she argues, and that partner has a climate-change denier headed for the Oval Office.
Opponents of carbon taxes have offered many arguments to support their case over the years, many of which are once again being dusted off – carbon taxes will fire a direct hit at our GDP, for instance. My favourite: Canada’s emissions are tiny, so why bother?
They are not in alignment with the more than 100 countries that have enacted the Paris Agreement and have vowed to support the climate agreement – regardless of what the United States does. And they are not in alignment with the 83 global corporations, many of them Fortune 500 companies, that have committed to go 100-per-cent renewable with the RE100 pledge.
There are many reasons to be very concerned about a Donald Trump presidency, including his proposed dismantling of federal policies supporting climate mitigation – and, for that matter, climate science.
But regardless of Mr. Trump’s grandiose promises, his anticipated impact needs to be put into perspective. In many ways, momentum is just not on his side. He claims he will reinvigorate the U.S. coal industry, for example, but he has little influence over the price of coal, the falling demand in China or the abundance of cheaper natural gas. Moreover, 29 U.S. states have renewable portfolio standards, and dozens of U.S. cities have earmarked their own mitigation targets. These jurisdictions are not simply going to roll back their own climate policies at Mr. Trump’s behest.