1.2 Applying these principles to economic decision making

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The bigger the challenge, the greater the opportunity. Canada and the world community face an environmentally-linked energy challenge of historic proportions. The reality of increased losses due to extreme weather events caused by the worsening climate crisis, higher global temperatures, and worsening pollution levels will make mitigation and adaptation responses absolutely essential. Focusing community economic development and investment towards clean technology and services is both a smart economic development strategy and a superb investment opportunity.

Green technology has been called the greatest business opportunity of this century. All levels of government need to advance this green economic approach through effective tax and policy measures, and appropriate skills and trades training at the secondary and post-secondary levels.

As part of the federal government’s contribution to advancing this green economic vision, Green Party MPs will advocate for gradually and progressively shifting current consumption taxes onto products and services that harm people and the environment, while reducing taxes on income, products, and economic activities that do no harm. As taxes on pollution and products that undermine health and well-being increase, other taxes, such as income and payroll, decrease. This approach is called being ‘revenue neutral.’

By moving to ‘true’ or ‘full-cost’ accounting, whereby products and services are priced according to the positive or negative impacts they cause throughout their life cycle, our society can make rational market choices that will guide the economy toward environmental sustainability.