Environmental regulation compliance costs are much less than companies think

Ottawa – As world leaders are about to gather in Paris to agree to new greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts, Canada’s industry leaders shouldn’t fear compliance costs. It turns out that the costs of complying with environmental regulations is much lower than we think.

New evidence shows that industries and companies overestimate the cost of complying with environmental regulations, and that often these regulations can lead to beneficial innovation too. This means that our economy and environment can both win.

Sustainable Prosperity Welcomes Ontario Cap-and-Trade Announcement

Policy experts available for comment on Ontario’s cap-and-trade announcement

Toronto, April 13, 2015 - Sustainable Prosperity, welcomes the announcement today that the province of Ontario will be moving forward to create a cap-and-trade system on its greenhouse gas emissions, and linking to Quebec existing systems.


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About the Project

The goal of this project is to shed light on the relationship between economic activity and the environment by exploring the linkages between changes in our natural capital and our measures of productivity generally, and through the construction of an environmentally adjusted measure of productivity specifically.

While it is now commonly accepted that economic activity and the state of our environment are linked, many economic measures still fail to incorporate the environment – both the things we draw from it and the pollution we release into it. By developing and calculating measures of productivity that include natural capital, Canada may be able to better understand these linkages. This, in turn, may lead to the identification of strategies that can help Canada become more efficient and innovative in the use and protection of natural capital, and thus more productive and more prosperous.

Using the forestry sector as a case study, this project aims to construct an environmentally adjusted measure of multifactor productivity. In doing so, we aim to add another layer of understanding to the environmental and economic performance of this sector. The proposed measure will have relevance to the Canadian economy as a whole.