Policy Forum: Alberta's Specified Gas Emitters Regulation
Posted: 16 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2012
Over the past decade, many policy options have been proposed to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from industrial activity in Canada. The purpose of this article is to introduce one specific example, Alberta’s Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER), and to compare and contrast the incentives provided by this program with those provided by comparably priced carbon taxes. The results show that, unlike a carbon tax policy that prices all emissions reductions identically, the SGER program provides vastly different rewards for emissions reductions achieved in different ways within the same facility. Despite this, it is not accurate to say that the SGER systematically under prices emissions reductions relative to a carbon tax; in many cases the implicit incentives provided by the two policy options are identical, and in some cases the SGER would reward better performance where a carbon tax would not.
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