Curbing carbon emissions will cost the economy, but not changing ‘could be substantial,’ PBO says -by Yadullah Hussain (Financial Post – April 22, 2016)

Curbing carbon emissions would cost Canada between one and three per cent in economic growth by 2030, but the price of leaving greenhouse gas emissions unchecked “could be substantial,” Parliamentary Budget Officer said Thursday.

The federal government and a number of provinces have introduced a slew of measures to curb emissions, but they will not be enough, the PBO said in a report.

“Those measures, while substantial, are unlikely to achieve the target on their own. Deeper reductions will be needed,” the independent parliamentary body noted.The report comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to sign the Paris climate change agreement in New York on Friday, along with leaders of 130 other nations.

The Liberal government is pursuing a number of initiatives to combat climate change, and is in discussion with the provinces to develop a carbon pricing mechanism.

The PBO warned that a patchwork of programs across different sectors may lead to “unnecessarily high costs,” while regional disparity could also hamper a pan-Canadian effort.

GDP per capita, which is forecast to climb to $61,200 by 2030, up from $55,500 in 2014, would be between $600 and $1,900 per capita higher in the absence of emission reduction policies, the PBO said.

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