Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission was launched on November 4, with the release of a report which makes the economic case for a new suite of Canadian policies at the municipal, provincial and national level.
“Ecofiscal policies correct market signals to encourage the economic activities we want (job creation, investment, and innovation), while discouraging those we don’t (greenhouse gas emissions and pollution of our land, air, and water). They use prices to help companies and individuals make decisions that take the true value of our environmental assets into account.” The Commission describes itself as independent, and representative of all political viewpoints; this manifests itself in the membership, which includes prominent former politicians Jean Charest, Bob Rae, Preston Manning, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, and Mike Harcourt. It is housed at McGill University, and led by Professor Chris Ragan of the McGill University Department of Economics (formerly a special adviser to the Bank of Canada).
Smart, Practical, Possible: Canadian Options for Greater Economic and Environmental Prosperity, Inaugural Report of the EcoFiscal Commission (English Version / French Version).
In the war for public support for action against climate change, a new campaign from the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science was launched with the document: What we Know: The Reality, Risks and Response to Climate Change (at: http://whatweknow.aaas.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/AAAS-What-We-Know.pdf). From the AAAS press release: “Scientists have developed a solid understanding of how the climate is responding to the build-up of greenhouse gases, but they recognize the considerable uncertainty about the long-run impacts – especially potential economic damages. Economists understand how to create incentives to limit pollution production with maximum effect and minimum collateral damage, but crafting the appropriate response is a complex valuation process that requires quantifying those same uncertainties…To do so requires scientists and economists to work together, ask tough questions, and break the boundaries of their professional silos. That’s what’s this initiative aims to do”.