Policy Articles: Environment & Climate: Environmental Law & Regulation
This paper identifies the specific issues of sustainable development that are most important to Canadians in the mid to long term. The report focuses on seven area: urban redesign, freshwater management, eco-region sustainability, impacts of globalization on Canada, signals and incentives, unsustainable lifestyles, and international engagement. In the context of each topic the report explains the problem and identifies research needs in the area. Broader conclusions are drawn and policies ideas are advanced as well as implementation strategies.
Indur Goklany posits that despite claims that climate change is “the most important environmental problem of this century,” evidence shows there are other more immediate and pressing threats to human and environmental health.
This survey, authored by Liv Fredricksen, presents a “report card” to governments regarding their mining policies. It takes into account several public policy factors, including taxation, regulation, labour issues and political stability, and then measures the effect of these factors on “attracting and winning investments.” The survey covers 45 jurisdictions, including all of Canada, numerous US states, as well as several other countries. Several Canadian jurisdictions finished near the top of the index, with Alberta taking the highest ranking. British Columbia finished last within Canadian jurisdictions, tying Russia with a score of 23 out of a possible 100.
In this report from a conference organized by the Public Policy Forum and the Woodrow Wilson Center, Michael Lister highlights conclusions regarding bilateral Canada-US climate change policies.
Securing Clean Power is part of the Conference Board of Canada’s Electricity Restructuring series. In this paper, Down et.al. ask whether liberalized electricity markets inevitably lead to poorer environmental performance. To answer this question, they examine the impact of electricity restructuring on the environment, as well as the implications of restructuring for environmental policy in the United States, Great Britain and Canada.
Howatson and Rheaume argue that implementing the Kyoto Protocol presents both the opportunity to protect the environment and provide business opportunities, but that it also present costs and risks that need to be managed and mitigated. The authors contend that critical attention must be paid to ensure that short-term action does not outweigh the serious thought and debate required to work out long-term strategies that make the most sense for Canada.
In this report, Gilles Rheaume and John Roberts argue that Canada is well positioned to benefit from increased demand for resources in the global economy.
In this report Ross Klein discusses the BC cruise tourism industry and suggests policies that would allow it to benefit more BC coastal communities.
In this article, Elizabeth May writes that environmental issues have moved from local, to regional, to global status in the past 25 years. She points out that 25 years is a “cosmic blink of an eye” in life of Earth, which makes the amount of damage that has been done to the environment in that period of time all the more startling. She argues that economic advancement has come at the cost of environmental destruction. Despite this damage, May argues that governments have often been responsive to environmental concerns, enacting legislation to curb this destruction. She argues that the Kyoto Protocol is an important first step, but a number of other critical issues need to be addressed, including global poverty, a gap in North-South equity, species and ecosystems extinction, toxic pollution, and the overwhelming imperative to shift economic systems from fossil fuels.
Joseph Doucet argues that Ottawa’s lack of clarity about post-Kyoto requirements may compromise long-term emissions reductions. He also tackles the question as to whether or not Canadian export prices to the US market will suffer because Canada ratified the Kyoto agreement and the United States did not. In this regard, Doucet argues that while the structure of Canadian exports should mitigate some of those concerns, long-term emission reductions will be compromised by Ottawa’s current plan for protecting Canadian companies.
Jaccard, Rivers, and Horne argue that Canada’s current approach to meeting its Kyoto commitments is environmentally ineffective and economically inefficient. They point out that although it is not yet possible to fully assess Canada’s approach, the policies the federal government has adopted are similar to those that have failed in the past. The authors argue that the current approach, emphasizing voluntary initiatives by businesses, consumers, and municipalities, is not the best route to meeting its commitments.
This article, by Scott Vaughan, is one of a set of eight folios released in 2004 to mark the 15th anniversary of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement, and the 10th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
This brief report serves as the introduction to Mapping the New North American Reality, a series of brief articles written by Canadian, American, and Mexican policy experts exploring the nature of North American economic integration.