Manitoba can lead climate debate

By Brendan Boyd
When it comes to climate change, Canadian premiers may be bucking a trend of regional disputes and posturing, particularly when it comes to a national energy strategy. Several weeks ago in Charlottetown, P.E.I., Canadian premiers produced a framework for a national energy strategy with climate change figuring prominently. The new framework recognized the need for Canada to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy.

Toronto should take a leaf from three other greening cities: Hume

By Christopher Hume
Toronto is a city of many parts, but not one that amounts to more than the sum of those parts.That’s not only because the city lacks a plan, but as the current municipal election has reminded us, more fundamentally because it lacks the ability to plan. The point was remade recently in a report released by the Sustainable Prosperity Institute. The Ottawa-based environmental think-tank examines how a trio of major urban centres — New York, Paris and London — handles transit, a topic near and dear to the hearts of Torontonians and their would-be leaders.

Canada’s prosperity requires greater leadership and credible climate policies

By Jeremy Oppenheim and Alex Wood
Tesla, the automobile company started by uber-entrepreneur Elon Musk, is valued by stock markets at $30 billion. That is a pretty sizable valuation for a company that sold 24,000 cars in 2013. General Motors, by comparison, is valued at roughly $56 billion on sales of 9.7 million cars. How can we explain such a discrepancy? Clearly, Tesla benefits from very good press, and very “sexy” product.

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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.