Friday, July 25, 2008

Carbon tariffs, Mr. Dion?

According to the Globe and Mail, Stephane Dion announced Canada would introduce carbon tariffs on imports. However, his party says they haven't decided that yet.

OTTAWA — The Liberal caucus has yet to decide whether it favours new import duties on goods from high-polluting countries, agriculture critic Wayne Easter said yesterday.

A day earlier, party leader St├ęphane Dion said a Liberal government would impose a "carbon tariff" on countries that were not doing enough to combat global warming. Mr. Dion said the tariff could also be used to help Canadian farmers by raising the price of imports.

Mr. Easter said farmers have not been calling for such import tariffs and the idea is up for debate.

"I think it's an open question as yet," he said, when asked yesterday whether carbon tariffs are a good idea. "Everything that is being discussed this summer is not being written in stone."

Mr. Dion's proposal was dismissed by both the Conservative government and the NDP.

"Its a bit rich to start talking about punishing others, with the record of failure that the Liberals had while in office," Environment Minister John Baird's spokesperson, Amanda Galbraith, wrote in an e-mail.

NDP environment critic Nathan Cullen said Mr. Dion is "jeopardizing the entire climate debate by making it look ridiculous.

"We believe there will be an international consensus about how to deal with climate change laggards, but for countries to go one-off and start slapping on their own trade tariffs seems to me to just invite court battles and very expensive litigation," he said.

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