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Cap and trade system will drive change in energy use, export official

Carbon pricing panel participants are moderator Glenn Davis, left, vice-president of policy with the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce; Elizabeth Beale, economist and commissioner of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission; Peter MacDonald, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters energy committee and advisory board member;  Maxine MacLean, communication and research co-ordinator, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture;  Jason Hollett, Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Dale Prest, ecosystem services specialist with Community Forests International.
Carbon pricing panel participants are moderator Glenn Davis, left, vice-president of policy with the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce; Elizabeth Beale, economist and commissioner of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission; Peter MacDonald, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters energy committee and advisory board member; Maxine MacLean, communication and research co-ordinator, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture; Jason Hollett, Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Dale Prest, ecosystem services specialist with Community Forests International.

TRURO, N.S. – Meaningful conversations will be held around the province as the Nova Scotia Department of Environment establishes a carbon cap and trade system, says an official.

“We are absolutely in the very beginning stages of putting this program together,” said Jason Hollett, leading the team developing the province’s cap and trade system and other climate change initiatives.

“For us this is really about transformation, building on what we have already done.”

He said Nova Scotia is leading greenhouse gas reduction efforts across the country.

Hollett was one of five carbon pricing experts participating in a panel discussion on the topic at the Marigold Cultural Centre in Truro. He was joined by Elizabeth Beale, economist and commissioner of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission; Maxine MacLean, communication and research co-ordinator, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture; Peter MacDonald Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters energy committee and advisory board member; and Dale Prest, an ecosystem services specialist with Community Forests International.

The panel was moderated by Glenn Davis, vice-president of policy with the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce.

The panelists shared varying views on the impacts of carbon pricing regulation, opportunities and shared details about how programs are working in other jurisdictions in Canada, as well as greenhouse gas reduction efforts around the globe.

“In general, a well-implemented cap and trade system, the market will drive the energy-intensive users to change,” said MacDonald. He added if credits are permitted to flow out to the desired markets, high carbon emitters will purchase those credits and if it gets too expensive they will reinvest in energy reduction.

Beale shared perspectives of carbon pricing schemes across the country explaining in most jurisdictions government revenues are raised through these programs.

“One of the important priorities for many governments is to offer incentives for particularly the energy intensive sectors to take further steps to reduce their emissions,” said the economist.

MacLean said during the past 10 years, several high-energy use commodities within agriculture have changed their practices, which would otherwise have forced them out of the market such as greenhouses switching to propane heating systems. She added it is critical to have open communication with business across the province as the cap and trade system is implemented in the province.

“Make sure the message is consistent across the province,” she said.

Describing trees as “solar-powered carbon vacuums,” Prest spoke about the great opportunities provided by responsibly managing the rich, mixed forests in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

“We are sitting on exactly what the world needs at exactly the right time,” he said.

The panel discussion was co-hosted by the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce and the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce.

Andrew Lake, president of the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce, said the discussions provided business an opportunity to learn about carbon pricing and its role in limiting green house gas emissions.

“A cap and trade policy to manage carbon emissions in Nova Scotia was particularly a focus,” Lake said.
“Businesses were able to absorb the content provided by the panelists to prepare for implementation, mitigating the fear while identifying potential business opportunities.”

Combined, the chambers represent about 650 businesses in the region.

To view video clips of the discussion, visit the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

“We are absolutely in the very beginning stages of putting this program together,” said Jason Hollett, leading the team developing the province’s cap and trade system and other climate change initiatives.

“For us this is really about transformation, building on what we have already done.”

He said Nova Scotia is leading greenhouse gas reduction efforts across the country.

Hollett was one of five carbon pricing experts participating in a panel discussion on the topic at the Marigold Cultural Centre in Truro. He was joined by Elizabeth Beale, economist and commissioner of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission; Maxine MacLean, communication and research co-ordinator, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture; Peter MacDonald Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters energy committee and advisory board member; and Dale Prest, an ecosystem services specialist with Community Forests International.

The panel was moderated by Glenn Davis, vice-president of policy with the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce.

The panelists shared varying views on the impacts of carbon pricing regulation, opportunities and shared details about how programs are working in other jurisdictions in Canada, as well as greenhouse gas reduction efforts around the globe.

“In general, a well-implemented cap and trade system, the market will drive the energy-intensive users to change,” said MacDonald. He added if credits are permitted to flow out to the desired markets, high carbon emitters will purchase those credits and if it gets too expensive they will reinvest in energy reduction.

Beale shared perspectives of carbon pricing schemes across the country explaining in most jurisdictions government revenues are raised through these programs.

“One of the important priorities for many governments is to offer incentives for particularly the energy intensive sectors to take further steps to reduce their emissions,” said the economist.

MacLean said during the past 10 years, several high-energy use commodities within agriculture have changed their practices, which would otherwise have forced them out of the market such as greenhouses switching to propane heating systems. She added it is critical to have open communication with business across the province as the cap and trade system is implemented in the province.

“Make sure the message is consistent across the province,” she said.

Describing trees as “solar-powered carbon vacuums,” Prest spoke about the great opportunities provided by responsibly managing the rich, mixed forests in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

“We are sitting on exactly what the world needs at exactly the right time,” he said.

The panel discussion was co-hosted by the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce and the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce.

Andrew Lake, president of the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce, said the discussions provided business an opportunity to learn about carbon pricing and its role in limiting green house gas emissions.

“A cap and trade policy to manage carbon emissions in Nova Scotia was particularly a focus,” Lake said.
“Businesses were able to absorb the content provided by the panelists to prepare for implementation, mitigating the fear while identifying potential business opportunities.”

Combined, the chambers represent about 650 businesses in the region.

To view video clips of the discussion, visit the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

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