Taxing the things we want less of is a necessary prod to dis-incentivize destructive behaviors (think alcohol and tabacco taxes, junk food). Recycling the revenues raised back into paying for clean up and treatment of the destruction caused is also necessary (70-80% of our crushing health care costs are caused by the widespread use of these drugs).
We know that we need to release much less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and we need a lot more revenue to clean up the environmental harm already caused. Hence we must cause emitters to pay. Ontario is on the right track here. See: Ontario’s first cap-and-trade-auction a sellout.
Ontario’s first auction for greenhouse gas allowances was a sellout — with 100 per cent of current permits available snapped up by the province’s biggest polluters.
But Environment Minister Glen Murray said while the participation showed “a high level of confidence” among businesses, the real measure of success comes in curbing emissions.
“The participation rate — whether 100 per cent or 20 per cent . . . is not the success of the market,” he told reporters at Queen’s Park. “The success of the market is really based on our ability to reduce GHGs. We will not expect to get 100 per cent all the time.” Here is a direct video link.