Farmers Forum analysis
The Liberal government has set a new goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 40 per cent below 2005 levels and wants to do that by 2030. That’s a great strategy for countries who want to be uncompetitive and disadvantaged.
Not to be outdone in self-inflicted wounds, U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to cut U.S. emissions by 50 per cent below 2005 levels before the end of the decade.
The problems, and there are many, begin with the fact that there is no solid evidence that cutting carbon dioxide emissions will do much more than harm Canadian business, discourage foreign investment and make Canadian goods less competitive internationally. India and China are not interested in regulat- ing emissions that hurt their economies.
Meantime, the carbon tax that farmers hate is doing nothing to reduce carbon emissions at home.
The Queen’s University Institute for Sustainable Finance recently released a report that noted while Canada planned for a two per cent reduction in carbon emissions in 2020, that didn’t happen. So what was achieved?
An increase in carbon emissions in 2020 of 0.28 per cent.
What does a government do when a policy has no proven benefits and the only measurable results are health sap- ping to an economy already struggling under COVID restrictions and a labour crisis?
Apparently, it appoints its most left-leaning environmentalist to plan a more appropriate choke hold on the economy. Former Greenpeace activist Steven Guilbeault is the new Minister of Environment and right out of the starting gate he announced that he will not allow carbon dioxide emissions to increase. While our economy grows, along with our population, holding carbon emissions will therefore mean much harsher regulations or higher taxation. Translation: Canadians need to stop growing their businesses. Time to take it in the gut for the team.
The Canadian Gas Association president Timothy Egan is extremely worried about where this is all going. He clarified the environmentalist agenda for the National Post: “Citizens around the world are hurting because they don’t have the energy they need, and they don’t have that energy because of policy choices by government.”
The Liberal government has not disclosed details other than to insist it will reach those carbon emission reductions. We do know that the federal government introduced a $15-billion plan at the end of last year to create programs and incentives to reduce C02 emissions but the Queen’s U study says that to reach its target of eliminating 1.2 billion metric tonnes of C02 by 2030 the government actually needs to spend more like $201 billion.
Not surprisingly, farmers are anxious. The carbon tax on the already rising price of fuel will jump from $30 to $40 per tonne of C02 in April, 2022 and the Grain Farmers of Ontario has calculated that the Carbon Tax, which is increasing every year, will cost an average farm an additional $46 per acre in direct drying costs by 2030.
On an average 800-acre farm, that’s an increased cost of operations of $36,800.