Canadian common sense: Fee-and-dividend petition e-297 grabs James Hansen’s attention

by: Obert Madondo | Published Thursday, May 19, 2016, by The Canadian Progressive

Environmental activists present newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with a gift of solar panels, urge him to take bold action against climate change, during a #ClimateWelcome sit-in protest outside his Rideau Hall residence on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. (Photo: Obert Madondo/The Canadian Progressive)

Environmental activists present newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with a gift of solar panels, urge him to take bold action against climate change, during a #ClimateWelcome sit-in protest outside his Rideau Hall residence on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. (Photo: Obert Madondo/The Canadian Progressive)

In a blog post published Monday, former NASA scientist James Hansen applauded a new petition that’s urging Ottawa to steer Canada away from fossil fuels.

Hansen, who first alerted the world about the threat of climate change in the late 80s, concluded his “Canadian common sense” blog post on this note:

Nevertheless, it is conceivable that leadership will emerge somewhere. Indeed, as fires engulf the tar sands, there is an encouraging rumble to the north. The Canadian Citizens’ Climate Lobby has started an electronic petition in Canada that will be presented to Canadian Parliamentarians if it gets 500 signatures from people who are residents or citizens of Canada. Canada just might provide the spark that begins to move the world toward a solution.

Hansen was referring to Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL Canada)’s e-297 (protection of the environment) petition, which is hosted on the House of Commons website. The petition calls upon the House of Commons to “implement carbon fee-and-dividend on a nationwide basis, integrating with provincial carbon pricing systems, at the earliest possible time.”

What the heck is fee-and-dividend anyway? And how would it Canada a world leader in the fight against climate change?

According to Hansen, a fee-and-dividend is “a gradually-rising carbon fee collected at fossil fuel sources (domestic mines and ports of entry) with the funds distributed equally to all legal residents of the country.” He adds that the fee-and-dividend “approach would give all citizens and business people visible incentives to reduce fossil fuel use, spurring the economy, modernizing energy infrastructure, and phasing out fossil fuels faster than big-bank-driven “schemes” such as cap-and-trade.”

During the 2015 federal election, the Green Party of Canada called carbon-and-fee party of its “preferred approach” for addressing climate change. Quote:

The Carbon Fee is a science-based levy on the carbon content (global warming potential) content of fossil fuels – the source of 72 % of our GHG emissions. This would set a clear price on carbon pollution and give producers and consumers the incentive to change the technologies and habits that have resulted in global warming. Some economists suggest the fee could start at, say, $50 per ton of CO2 in 2015, and rise by $10 a year reaching $200/tCO2 in 2030. Clearly scheduled price increases provide businesses and consumers with a stable and predictable price for planning and purchasing decisions. In the long run, as we shift away from fossil fuels, the carbon fee revenues will diminish to zero.

A gradual increase in taxes on the tar sands and other destructive fossil fuels would make Canada’s renewable energy sector more competitive.

E-297 petition is open for signatures until September 8, 2016. Sign petition e-297 today.

SPECIAL APPEAL: Please empower The Canadian Progressive and help us publish more stories like this by supporting this GoFundMe Fund-raising Initiative. Thank you!

Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow him on Twitter: @Obiemad

The following two tabs change content below.

Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based independent journalist and progressive political blogger. He's the publisher and editor of The Canadian Progressive.