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Climate Change: Facts, Strategies, Choices and Innovations

Derek Paul
Social Indicators Research
Vol. 42, No. 2 (1997), pp. 117-149
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27522278
Page Count: 33
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Climate Change: Facts, Strategies, Choices and Innovations
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Abstract

Canada's Action Plan is the federal response to its international obligation under the UN Framework Convention of 1992 whereby Canada must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to the 1990 level by the year 2000. The Plan is failing completely, because of its essentially voluntary nature. Overall, greenhouse gas emissions will have increased 13 per cent in Canada between 1990 and 2000, four per cent more than the population increase for that period. Five other plans studied by government agencies are projected to fail to achieve the called-for reductions in emission. An analogous plan, the Rational Energy Plan, developed by a network of nongovernment organizations, is projected to enable the federal government to achieve its obligations under the Framework Convention and also its further obligations under the 1995 Berlin Mandate. This Plan has been analyzed using the government's own analytical tools which project that it will offer Canada substantial annual increases in employment for at least ten years, more prosperous households for more than ten years, and a smaller federal deficit for at least eight years. The federal government has no viable alternative to adopting this plan as soon as practicable. This paper explains some of the needed preliminaries to introducing the Plan, together with examples of tax-shifting and of easily implemented stick-and-carrot inducements to making the Plan work in a sea of partly hostile provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Newfoundland). The Plan will not be easy to implement because of necessary changes in human habits of thinking and attitudes. A new and simple strategy for reducing fuel wastage on highways is introduced in this paper; and also the concept of extended cogeneration, the Rational Energy Plan itself being a particularly fine example.

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