Carbon Taxes and the Need for Social License

Especially timely, given the June 17th Northern Gateway decision, is a recent report by the Canada West Foundation about the concept and means to achieve “social license”, and a Pembina Institute blog which reviews it. Pembina provides this definition: “Social license is generally considered to exist when the perceptions, opinions, and beliefs held by a local population regarding a development allow for the ongoing public approval of the related activity.” The Canada West Foundation, an advocate for Western development, states: that … “A positive brand will only endure if it is based on solid and constantly improving performance at the local level.” The author calls for industry to lead a systematic effort to engage supporters in communities affected by resource development, and calls on government to be involved with “public policy, legislation and regulation needed to sustain progress”. Regarding a carbon tax, for example, he states: “The net benefit/cost might well be positive for resource industries since a stable carbon management regime would add to policy stability and social legitimacy.”

From The Ground Up: Earning Public Support for Resource Development (May 27) from Canada West Foundation at
The Costs of Losing Social License (June 6) at Pembina Institute at