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Getting to 2050: Canada's Transition to a Low-emission Future

Getting to 2050: Canada's Transition to a Low-emission Future

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National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (2008 Report)

The inescapable effects of climate change and air pollution over the next decades require Canada to embark upon a transition to a low-emission society. This will require significant changes to our energy systems – both in terms of energy production and consumption.
We will need to anticipate the nature and scope of that transition and what it will look like to manage our response smartly. This will enable us to maintain the health of our economy and meet our environmental objectives.

The NRT set out five enabling conditions to guide this transition: work in concert with the world; exhibit policy certainty; implement an economy-wide price signal, deploy all necessary technologies; and integrate air pollution and climate change policies.
National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (2008 Report)

The inescapable effects of climate change and air pollution over the next decades require Canada to embark upon a transition to a low-emission society. This will require significant changes to our energy systems – both in terms of energy production and consumption.
We will need to anticipate the nature and scope of that transition and what it will look like to manage our response smartly. This will enable us to maintain the health of our economy and meet our environmental objectives.

The NRT set out five enabling conditions to guide this transition: work in concert with the world; exhibit policy certainty; implement an economy-wide price signal, deploy all necessary technologies; and integrate air pollution and climate change policies.

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05/13/2014

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Letter from the Chair 
Dear Minister:On behalf of the National RoundTable on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE), I ampleased to transmit to you our final Advisory Report entitled
Getting to 2050: Canada’s Transitionto a Low-emission Future.
This report is the culmination of a year of research, analysis, consul-tations, and deliberations by the NRTEE. This program was undertaken following a formalrequest by the Government of Canada in Fall 2006.Our findings and recommendations are based on extensive, original modelling and data analysis that were, in turn, subjected to further consideration by numerous industry andenvironmental experts and stakeholders across Canada. The Advisory Report sets out clearrecommendations for effective action to achieve the government’s stated goal of deep, long-termgreenhouse gas emission reductions of 65% below current levels by 2050. It concludes thatachieving the government’s long-term goal is feasible with the right policy pathway, and will resultin significant GHG emission reductions at a manageable national economic cost over the long run.The most central recommendation in that policy pathway is to establish an economy-wideprice on carbon as soon as possible. Our research shows that sending such a price signal is themost effective means to achieving the government’s deep GHG emission reductions. Ourresearch also indicates that delay in doing so will affect our ability to achieve these targets withouthigher economic and environmental costs, and that certain sectors and regions of the country areimpacted more than others. For these and other reasons, we have also set out five key “enabling conditions” that should be considered as Canada transitions to a pathway for achieving deepemission reductions. We are aware that some of our recommendations may be challenging and will generate fulsomedebate. They are provided on the basis that an important NRTEE role is to consider long-termpublic policy solutions beyond current approaches. This is meant to inform the public policy debate to assist government and others to consider how best to transition to our proposed long-termclimate policy framework. The NRTEE welcomes the opportunity to provide this advice andinformation to the government based on our unique and proven role in bringing Canadianenvironmental and economic interests together to agree to consensus solutions on sustainability issues. This report bears that same hallmark. An additional Advisory Note on national ambient air quality objectives will follow in early 2008.Sincerely,Glen Murray Chair

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