The Cost of a Cleaner Future: Examining the Economic Impacts of Reducing GHG Emissions

The Conference Board of Canada, 97 pages, September 6, 2017
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This analysis studies three distinct policy measures—the impact of a carbon price and a shift in the electricity generation mix, the impact of substantially decarbonizing our electricity generation sector, and the impact of investments that will allow Canada to reduce its emissions by 60 per cent by 2050.

Document Highlights

In December 2015, the Paris Agreement was signed by Canada and 195 other countries. The agreement committed participating countries to implement policies aimed at keeping global temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

This report focuses on three themes related to Canada’s progress in reducing GHG emissions:

  • The economic impact of carbon pricing—starting from the announced federal program and including a range of Conference Board scenarios.
  • The economic impact of eliminating fossil fuel-fired electricity generation plants in Canada.
  • The economic impact of the extensive investments in green technology development and implementation that will be required to achieve deep emissions reductions.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

Chapter 2—Potential Economic Impacts of Carbon Pricing

  • Methodology and Assumptions
  • Results

Chapter 3—Assessing the Impact of Restructuring Canada’s Infrastructure

  • Economic Impact of Obsolete Capital: Background and Methodology
  • Results
  • Feasibility of Full Decarbonization
  • Summary

Chapter 4—Investment Requirements for Pathways to Deep Emissions Reductions

  • Pathway to Achieving 30 Per Cent Emissions Reductions
  • Pathways to Achieving 60 Per Cent Emissions Reductions
  • Investment Summary
  • Reality Check: Are the Investment Pathways Economically and Politically Feasible?
  • Research Summary

Appendix A—Input-Output Price Model

Appendix B—Detailed Modelling Results

Appendix C—Bibliography

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