Sunday, May 29, 2016
Can We Trust Them? Don't Hold Your Breath.
The G7 leaders have struck a pact to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. It sounds great, in principle, but do we have any reason to believe them?
In Canada our governments admit to annual subsidies of around 2.5 billion. Is that what will be ending? How much of that is provincial (a lot) and how will Ottawa get the western premiers to go along?
The real problem is that the amount our federal and provincial governments acknowledge is the tip of the iceberg. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) ran the numbers of all our direct and indirect subsidies - grants, deferrals, exemptions, the provision of natural capital (public property) either at no cost or below market values - and its total was just under $35 billion each and every year.
So what number are we going to be using? This is the sort of issue that Slick can get pretty weasley on. Until he acknowledges the IMF number there's absolutely no reason to believe that Ottawa will be making much of a dent in the subsidy scam.
There's no reason to think that he'll still be in charge by 2025 in any case and, besides, it's just a promise. We've heard a lot of promises from that fellow and we've learned that he doesn't always come through on his word.
As for America? Dream on.