‘A plan that’s balanced and market-driven’

Recalling, again, Stephen Harper’s support for carbon trading

The Prime Minister’s Office has lately been uploading old speeches of Mr. Harper’s to YouTube. On Friday, for instance, this speech from June 2007, delivered in Berlin, was added.

In it, Mr. Harper explains, in part, his government’s approach to reducing greenhouse gas thusly.

So we vowed to develop a real plan – with real, absolute, mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. A plan that’s practical, affordable and achievable. A plan that’s balanced and market-driven. A plan that deals with our growing economy and population…

Of course, it may not be possible for all countries, or all industries and firms within all countries, to reduce their emissions by the same amount on the same time line. That is why other compliance measures such as carbon offsets and carbon trading are also necessary. They are part of Canada’s plan and, provided they are not just an accounting shell game, they must be part of a universal, international regime.

It was about seven months later that the Harper government started explicitly endorsing the idea of a “price on carbon.” And it was almost exactly a year after his speech in Berlin that the Prime Minister gave this speech in London (which was uploaded to YouTube four years ago), in which he managed to both support a price on carbon and oppose a carbon tax.

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