Sustainable Prosperity's Submission to the Conservation Authorities' Act Discussion Paper

Sustainable Prosperity welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Conservation Authorities Act discussion paper as part of the Government of Ontario’s review on the roles, responsibilities, funding and governance of conservation authorities under the act.

The intention of this submission is not to provide a comprehensive review of all aspects of the Conservation Authorities Act, but rather to highlight SP’s research that is relevant to the questions raised in the discussion paper, particularly as they relate to funding mechanisms and roles and responsibilities.

Improving Audit Mechanisms for Environmental Information Disclosure Programs

Studies founded both in economic theory and empirical research have shown that when firms self-report their pollution, their environmental performance improves. However, the success of this approach depends upon compliance by firms, and budgetary constraints for enforcement provisions of environmental information disclosure programs may limit their effectiveness in promoting environmentally beneficial outcomes. A fine-based enforcement system can usually deter non-compliance, but requires (especially when fines are capped) sufficiently high audit probabilities to do so. These probabilities can be costly for regulators to achieve.

Sustainable Prosperity's Submission to the British Columbia Climate Action Leadership Panel Discussion Paper

Sustainable Prosperity commends the Government of British Columbia in its desire to build on its existing climate action measures to move closer to its long-­‐term greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. We welcome the opportunity to submit input to British Columbia’s 2015 Climate Leadership Discussion Paper. The intention of this submission is not to provide comment on the specific goals raised in the Discussion Paper, but rather to provide a series of key analyses and papers that may be informative to decision-­‐makers.

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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.