Canada could be a renewable energy superpower. What's holding us back? Renewable energy is more expensive to produce than fossil-based. Over time, with high cost to carbon, this will change. We cannot wait, however: and we have an answer.
"Green Bonds" is a policy proposal designed to accelerate Canada's transition to a renewable energy superpower. Green Bonds are a government-backed financial instrument, designed to directly engage the public and provide low-cost debt capital to producers of renewable energy.
The public buys the bond, the government provides a guarantee and a mandate and measurements for success, and the private sector manages the funds.
Government-backed, privately-run, public engagement: our analysis indicates this is one of the cost-effective and flexible ways to build our renewable energy production and reduce our carbon emissions. This proposal will cost the government, by our analysis, somewhere between $1 and $13 per tonne of CO2 reduced. It will create demand for existing, but under-deployed, renewable technology.
Green Bonds is about a new nation-building project, one in which the public directly participates in - and benefits from - our transformation into a renewable energy superpower.
Green Bonds provides an answer to the millions of Canadians asking "What can I do?".
If you like this idea, we encourage you to email Environment Minister Baird: John.Baird@ec.gc.ca
Our policy proposal has been developed to the extent that it can, without direct government involvement. You can read it in detail at www.greenbonds.ca. Our advocacy remains in full gear, and we have had a series of meetings with various levels and Departments within our Federal Government. We are aiming for the Federal Budget, 2008.
We encourage other policy-wonks within Canada to read it, criticize it, pass it on. We encourage advocates and activists to understand it, and spread the word. We encourage economists to kick the tires. We are always ready to improve the proposal.
We are seeking key VIP endorsers over the summer, including all-party support.
We encourage those from other countries to adapt the specifics to their own situation. Canada has a unique geography, and the fiscal side of this proposal (low-cost debt financing to encourage massive deployment of existing technologies) is designed to match our profile. Other countries might modify it, and you are welcome to do so.