Canada adopts fee and dividend

Eight years of relentless lobbying by the volunteers of CCL Canada paid off this week with the announcement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that carbon fee and dividend will be the default policy for pricing carbon in Canada. The policy is a backstop to cover the four provinces - Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick - that have not initiated carbon pricing policies of their own. Nearly half of Canada's population lives in these provinces. The plan will assess a fee on carbon starting at $20 per ton and increasing $10 per ton each year until it reaches $50 in 2022. Revenue from the fee will be returned to households. "We're the little lobby that could," said Cathy Orlando, CCL's International Outreach Manager based in Sudbury, Ontario. "Our patience and persistence has been rewarded with an effective program that puts Canada on the path to meeting its global obligation on climate change. Today's announcement is also an affirmation of CCL's approach to engaging government with an attitude of appreciation, respect and being nonpartisan."

California governor signs historic climate bill


California Gov. Jerry Brown signed historic legislation Thursday, establishing one of the most ambitious carbon reduction goals in the world. The bill, SB 32, has enormous implications for the state’s economy and for its efforts to combat climate change. It requires that California reduce its carbon pollution to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.


“This is big, and I hope it sends a message across the country,” Brown said at the bill-signing in Los Angeles, according to the Sacramento Bee. “The bills today, they really are far reaching, and they keep California on the move to clean up the environment, to encourage vast innovation and to make sure we have the environmental resilience that the Californians really want and expect.” (Brown also signed into law AB 197, a measure that creates additional legislative oversight of the California Air Resources Board, the regulatory agency that had led the efforts to cut emissions.)


California has already made progress in cutting its carbon dioxide emissions, following a landmark 2006 law that called for the state to reduce carbon pollution to 1990 levels by 2020. A report from the California Environmental Protection Agency last June showed that the state was on track to meet those goals, and California has one of the lowest carbon dioxide emission rates per capita. SB 32 would require California to reduce its emissions levels even more drastically. It also ensures that the state’s climate change efforts will continue for at least another 10 years.


Opponents of the legislation argued that making such significant cuts to greenhouse gas emissions would hurt the economy. But supporters counter that that hasn’t been the case: California’s GDP has continued to grow while emissions have decreased, according to a fact sheet published by a group headed by Senate Democrats. California also didn’t lose manufacturing jobs, as opponents predicted it would, and continued to add jobs, according to the same group.GDP increased as carbon dioxide emissions decreased.


The bill’s goals will not be easy to accomplish, especially since it doesn’t specify what will happen to California’s cap-and-trade program, which sets a price and a limit on carbon emissions. The policy has been billed as a low-cost, revenue-generating way of cutting carbon pollution but has struggled in recent years. Without an effective cap-and-trade system, the state would have to find another way to meet its targets. The challenge facing California is a daunting one; here’s one possible scenario, as laid out by Vox:


We’re talking about a world where California gets more than 50 percent of its electricity from renewables in 2030 (up from 25 percent today), where zero-emissions vehicles are 25 percent of the fleet by 2035 (up from about 1 percent today), where high-speed rail is displacing car travel, where biofuels have replaced a significant chunk of diesel in heavy-duty trucks, where pastures are getting converted to forests, where electricity replaces natural gas in heating, and on and on.


Possible? Sure. Easy? Hardly. The level of effort is just orders of magnitude different from anything California has done so far.

Recent Posts

July 11, 2016

July 11, 2016

December 9, 2015

December 9, 2015

Please reload

October 26, 2018

Canada adopts fee and dividend to price carbon

Eight years of relentless lobbying by the volunteers of CCL Canada paid off this week with the announcement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that carbon fee and dividend will be the default policy for pricing carbon in Ca...

February 11, 2017

California Climate & Agriculture Network (CALCAN)

The California Legislature passed a 2017 funding package for the state’s climate change programs. Among the funded programs was the Healthy Soils Initiative, a CalCAN supported effort to provide resources for farmers and...

July 11, 2016

While The Spotlight Was On Offshore Drilling, Fracking Quietly Made Its Way Into Our Oceans

by Samantha Page Jul 1, 2016 8:00 am

The Gulf of Mexico has been struggling with the pollution from offshore oil drilling for a long time, a struggle that was dramatically highlig...

July 11, 2016

A Model for 'Clean Coal' Runs Off the Tracks


DE KALB, Miss. — The fortress of steel and concrete towering above the pine forest here is a first-of-its-kind power plant that was supposed to prove that “clean coal” was not an oxymoron — that it was possible t...

February 9, 2016

Porter Ranch Response from the Capitol


By Kathryn Phillips


(Photo credit: Earthworks)


Since their return to work in Sacramento in early January, legislators have been preparing legislation in response to the massive Aliso Canyon methane gas leak near Porter Ranch in no...

February 8, 2016

The Fate of the World Changed in Paris—but by How Much?

If taken seriously, the commitments made at COP21 could spell death for the fossil-fuel industry. That’s a big “if.


By Mark Hertsgaard Nation magazine


Thanks a lot, Republicans. You weren’t in Paris physically, but...

December 14, 2015

Letter presented to the Beale Air Force base commander


December 14, 2015


Colonel Douglas J. Lee

Commander, 9th Reconnaissance Wing

General Delivery at PSC Box 5000

Beale Air Force Base, CA 95903


Dear Colonel Lee:


We are here today to demonstrate at Beale because the Globa...

December 9, 2015

Here’s why the words “loss and damage” are causing such a fuss at the Paris climate talks


By Ben Adler  on 8 Dec 2015  Daily grist


PARIS, France — There’s a big sticking point in the negotiations over a global climate deal, and it centers around this little phrase...

December 9, 2015

Money to Burn

By James Surowiecki New Yorker


These are tough times for the coal industry. Coal-burning plants generate less than forty per cent of the electricity in the U.S., down from more than half just a few years ago. At least twenty-six coal companies have gone ba...

December 8, 2015

State College, Pa. — With world leaders gathered in Paris to address climate change, most of the planet seems to have awakened to the reality that the Earth is warming and that we’re responsible.


But not Lamar Smith, the Texas Republican who is chairman of the House Co...

Please reload