British Columbia’s richest residents emit a higher share of greenhouse gases than their less wealthy counterparts, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Detailed in a brief released today (April 22), research by the non-profit organization suggests that the more an individual earns, the larger their carbon footprint will be based on direct and indirect emissions data from 2005.
Given the findings, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives argues that some carbon-reduction strategies—such as a carbon tax—can place an unfair burden on lower-income British Columbians, who produce fewer emissions on an individual basis.
As an alternative, the brief recommends that policy makers focus on setting per capita targets for reductions and reform how carbon tax credits are distributed.
“A key challenge in moving ahead is political resistance to greater equality as an endpoint,” the brief reads. “It may take more than one decade to get to equal per capita emissions, and this objective could meet with fierce opposition from the highest emitters.”
The brief, titled By Our Own Emissions: The Distribution of GHGs in BC, was created as part of longer-term project of the University of British Columbia and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an independent research group with an office in Vancouver.