Do not rollback the carbon price

To those arguing for a rollback of the carbon price, this is why I strongly disagree:

1. Steady predictable increases in the carbon price, as scheduled, are essential to its effectiveness and to investors' ability to plan.

2. Those who oppose strong action on the climate crisis always have a reason to delay. When oil prices are high, they say people can't afford a carbon price on top. In many ways, the easiest time to have a carbon price is when oil prices are lower than expected.

3. Government is spending a huge amount of money now, building up debt that will have to be paid back by today's young people. They are the ones whose lives are going to be most severely affected by the increasing instability of our climate driven by global heating and fossil fuel use. They deserve strong action to transition to a green economy, with cleaner air, better air quality, better public health, and a better chance of surviving the climate crisis.

4. We now know that those with compromised immune systems are much more vulnerable to the pandemic. In the same way, those with compromised ecosystems will be much more vulnerable to the climate crisis, which is still gathering steam. This month, we have already broken last year’s record-breaking peak of CO2 in the atmosphere, and its still going up. In much of the world, the Economist calls this "The year without a winter”. Have we already forgotten the fires in Australia? And the floods all over the world?

5. Rebuilding after a catastrophe like the pandemic gives us a precious opportunity to build back better and cleaner, with much less use of fossil fuels, rather than rebuilding old industries and other old patterns that are destroying the natural systems on which our lives depend.

6. Canada's oil and gas industry creates a huge amount of climate pollution for every single job, while exploring for and producing some of the dirtiest oil in the world. Many more jobs can be produced for the same amount of investment, with large social benefits, by focussing on energy efficiency retrofits of buildings, clean transportation, and clean sources of energy. Most of the oil sands resource should be left in the ground until it can be used without causing more climate pollution. 

7. Alberta has some of the best wind resource in the world, and southern Alberta and Saskatchewan have the best solar resource of anywhere in Canada. They can and should continue to be our energy powerhouse, but taxpayers should not bail out oil and gas.

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