According to some, it is not only economically feasible, it’s economically prosperous.

That is, according to a study released by The Pembina Institute and the David Suzuki Foundation in December, 2008. The study shows that it is possible for Canada to make 25 emission cuts below 1990 levels by 2020, and still be doing quite well economically. (Read the press release here.) The science recommends a 25 to 40% cut below 1990, while Canada’s current target is 3% below 1990.

The economic modeling analysis was commissioned in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation, and written by M.K. Jaccard and Associates Inc.:

Deep Reductions, Strong Growth: An economic analysis showing Canada can prosper economically while doing its share to prevent dangerous climate change, shows that  governments — and Ottawa in particular — are able to work constructively towards job creation and higher standards of living.

Here is a summary of the key findings, according to the David Suzuki Foundation:

  • Canada’s economy can still grow by almost 20% in the next decade while the country reduces its greenhouse gas pollution to 25% below the 1990 level.
  • Canada will continue to enjoy strong net job growth.
  • Meeting the 25% reduction target requires a significant price on carbon pollution as well as targeted regulations and investments to expand the use of clean technology.
  • By 2020 Canadians will save more than $5.5 billion each year at the gas pump because of more efficient vehicles, more public transit and shorter commutes.

Dale Marshall, climate change policy analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation, says, “Our challenge as a country is not economic or technological-it’s showing bold political leadership.”

The current economic downturn does not affect the findings of the report. All policies in the study start in 2010, allowing the economy time to recover. And even if the U.S. and other major trading partners do less to cut emissions than Canada, our international competitiveness doesn’t have to suffer. The report shows that vulnerable sectors can be protected by returning some carbon pricing revenue to those industries.

David Suzuki Foundation press release

Good news for all of us here in Canada, certainly.

What do you think?

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