Yesterday, Alberta introduced its carbon tax legislation, as outlined in this Globe and Mail article. Improving Alberta’s environmental reputation is seen as crucial by the NDP government and some energy industry leaders, who believe that the strategy will help attract investment in the oil and gas sector, put greater emphasis on technology and renewable energy and win support to build one or more new pipelines to Canadian coasts. I believe this is a game changer in their current development path trajectory, and while no-one can predict the future with any certainty, it opens up critical 'space' for new innovations, new ways of doing business that will open the door to alternative futures.
I am, however, a little disappointed in the quality of reporting in this article, as it goes on to describe that critics believe this is the worst possible time to introduce these changes and that they will raise the prices of everything for Albertans. I see little reference in the press to our research that shows the success of the B.C. carbon tax, that its economy was the same or better than other provinces while reducing its GHG emissions. More recently, the Sustainability Prosperity Institute BC in a policy brief, describes B.C.'s carbon leadership. "Most widely lauded of the initiatives rolled out over 2007-2008 is the province-wide carbon tax, which has received praise from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank and The Economist, amongst others." In 2010, BC also became the first province in North America to achieve carbon neutrality across all of its Public Sector Organizations (PSOs)."