Pollution isn’t free. There is a real cost to the environment and our health when someone — an individual or a business — pollutes, leaving the air, water, or land less clean for everyone.
Economists tell us that putting a price on pollution will reduce emissions; but there is often a misunderstanding or lack of clarity on exactly how it achieves this.
As illustrated in our recent infographic series, it’s helpful to think of solutions in the near-term, mid-term, and long-term. Some of the near-term changes are the most clear. For example, individuals can save money by reducing the amount of electricity they use by making small changes. This can include switching to LED light bulbs, sealing leaks in windows and doors, using programmable thermostats, or alternatives to solo car travel for some of their trips, like carpooling, or if they’re in cities, cycling, walking or taking transit. But these behavior change nudges that carbon pricing provides doesn’t end there. In fact some of the bigger potential savings come in the medium and longer term.
Read Breaking it down: how carbon pricing addresses climate change by Sara Hastings-Simon at the Pembina Institute.