Sharing the burden for climate change mitigation in the Canadian federation
Dividing the burden for greenhouse gas abatement amongst the provinces has proven chal- lenging in Canada, and is a major factor contributing to Canada’s poor historic performance on greenhouse gas abatement. As the country aims to achieve substantial cuts to emissions over the next decade and by mid-century, such burden sharing considerations are likely to be elevated in importance. This paper uses a detailed Canadian computable general equilibrium model to compare a number of archetypal rules for sharing the burden of a joint commitment amongst members for the case of greenhouse gas reductions in Canada. Because of the substantial het- erogeneity amongst Canadian provinces, these different burden sharing rules imply significantly different relative abatement effort amongst provinces, and also significantly different welfare implications. We compare these archetypal burden sharing rules to existing provincial emission reduction commitments, and find that none of the standard burden sharing rules comes close to existing commitments. We argue that future efforts to share the burden of greenhouse gas abatement in Canada would be more successful if they were informed by a formal analysis such as the one presented here.
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