The line from the Conservatives is that taking enough action on the climate crisis to avert catastrophe would damage the economy (as if that’s a real choice). Then, two months ago, we found out that their own experts told them that the Green Party’s climate plan would have a negligible effect on the economy, and that they tried to keep that report secret. Today, we find out that their own experts were also telling them that their plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through tax rebates/feebates for new car purchases would be extremely inefficient with taxpayer dollars.
The Globe and Mail reports that a September 2006 report informed the government of the following:
The key findings from the working group are that the cost per tonne of GHGs reduced is high for all options; ranging from $150 per tonne for a permanent incentive that rewards very fuel-efficient vehicles without distinguishing between technology or class; to $2,350 per tonne, for example, for an incentive that differentiates between passenger vehicles and light trucks and expires after four years.
The second option–at a cost of $2,350 per tonne–is more or less what the government introduced in the last budget, and has since been a resounding failure. So, not only did they know that our plan (which, remember, is a tax shift of only $50 per tonne) would succeed in reducing emissions while not harming the economy, they also knew that their plan would be shockingly wasteful and produce mediocre results at best.
At first, I’m tempted to conclude that this government is trying to create economic damage with their climate
inaction plan in order to prove themselves right, or even that they’re somewhat sociopathic. But then I’m reminded that I should never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.