Why has Canada been unable to achieve any of its climate-change targets? Part of the reason is that emissions in two provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan – already about half the Canadian total when taken together – have been steadily increasing as a result of expanding oil and gas production. Declining emissions in other provinces, such as Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, have been cancelled out by those western increases. The ultimate explanation for Canadian failure lies in the differing energy interests of the western and eastern provinces, overlaid on the confederation fault-line of western alienation. Climate, energy, and national unity form a toxic mix.
How can Ottawa possibly get all the provinces moving in the same direction of decreasing emissions? To answer this question, Douglas Macdonald explores the five attempts to date to put in place coordinated national policy in the fields of energy and climate change – from Pierre Trudeau’s ill-fated National Energy Program to Justin Trudeau’s bitterly contested Pan-Canadian program – analysing and comparing them for the first time. Important new insights emerge from this analysis which, in turn, provide the basis for a new approach. Carbon Province, Hydro Province is a major contribution to the vital question of how our federal and provincial governments can effectively work together and thereby for the first time achieve a Canadian climate-change target.
"This book is essential reading for all of those struggling to find a path to bridging Canada’s deep political and regional divisions over energy and climate policy. Macdonald’s authoritative analysis identifies the structural roots of this stubborn Canadian dilemma, and offers creative and practical solutions. His call for a long-overdue national dialogue on burden-sharing is critical to those solutions."- George Hoberg, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
"In this timely work, Douglas Macdonald draws on a meticulously researched review of energy and climate change policy in Canada over the past three decades to offer recommendations for more effective federal leadership in these critical areas. Macdonald’s analysis of the dynamics of intergovernmental relations and policymaking offers important insights into the obstacles to progress on national greenhouse gas emission reductions. He goes beyond diagnosis, however, to identify elements of a new approach that may be more successful in overcoming the inter-regional conflicts that – constructed as such – have played a large role in preventing Canada from achieving its international commitments. This book is highly recommended for scholars, civil servants, and politicians concerned with intergovernmental relations, federalism, and Canadian energy and climate change policy."- Laurie Adkin, Department of Political Science, University of Alberta
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