There’s plenty of reasons to be disappointed in today’s Liberal carbon tax announcement.
But there’s only one that matters: It doesn’t contain a single target for greenhouse gas emission reductions.
With the exception of a few climate change deniers in the Reform Party / Canadian Alliance, the debate since the Rio Summit in 1990 has been about how much GHGs to reduce and when.
The Liberal carbon tax can’t answer either question.
Liberals can tell you with deadly precision how much the price of natural gas to heat your home will increase (2 cents a GJ) and how much the cost of diesel to run city transit will increase (7 cents a litre) and how much the cost of gas for your Hummer-driving neighbour will increase (zero cents a litre), but they can’t tell you how much GHG emissions will decrease by 2012, 2020 or 2050.
To their credit, the Liberals never said their carbon tax would reduce emissions, just make them more expensive. Fair enough. But the name of the game is "reducing emissions on internationaly agreed upon timelines."
That's why the NDP is saying the Liberals have graduated from "not getting it done" to "won't get it done."
No wonder Liberals want the Auditor General to examine their carbon tax and not the Environment Commissioner -- because they are more focused on tax dollars going up than carbon emissions going down.