The Study in Brief
The Kyoto Protocol mandates a set of country-specific reductions of emissions of "greenhouse" gases thatabsorb and re-emit infrared radiation. Canada has agreed to a target of six percent below 1990 levels bythe end of the decade, which will require about a 30 percent absolute emissions cut. Canadian PrimeMinister Jean Chretien recently pledged that his government will ask Parliament to ratify the KyotoProtocol before the end of the year. In light of the sparse information about how Kyoto will beimplemented and how much it will cost, this timetable is, at best, precipitous; at worst, it risks seriouseconomic damage.The federal government released a Discussion Paper last April outlining four hypothetical optionsfor achieving compliance. We discuss some of the economics behind the estimated policy impacts, andconclude, among other things, that the Discussion Paper does not provide an adequate basis for makingan informed decision on Kyoto. Given the scale of the policy commitment and the potentially far-reaching economic effects, without a more thorough understanding of the economic impacts a decision toratify on the basis of what has been presented thus far would be precipitous.
The Authors of This Issue
Ross McKitrick is Associate Professor, Department of Economics, at the University of Guelph. Randall M.Wigle is a Professor in the Department of Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University.
The Border Papers
“The Border Papers”is a project on Canada’s choices regarding North American integration. It is producedwith financial support from the Donner Canadian Foundation and guidance from an advisory board whosemembers are drawn from business, labour, and research organizations.
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C.D. Howe Institute Commentary
is a periodic analysis of, and commentary on, current public policy issues. The manuscript was copy edited byKevin Doyle and prepared for publication by Marie Hubbs. As with all Institute publications, the views expressed here are those of the authors,and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Institute’s members or Board of Directors. Quotation with appropriate credit is permissible.To order this publication, please contact: Renouf Publishing Co. Ltd., 5369 Canotek Rd., Unit 1, Ottawa K1J 9J3 (tel.: 613-745-2665;fax: 613-745-7660; e-mail: email@example.com), or the C.D. Howe Institute, 125 Adelaide St. E., Toronto M5C 1L7(tel.: 416-865-1904; fax:416-865-1866; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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