"You can be green and grow’
Environmental responsibility, economic prosperity can go hand in hand, Stern argues
By GREGORY BONNELL The Canadian Press
TORONTO — A British economist known around the world for sounding the fiscal alarm on climate change made a one-day stop Monday in Canada to "strongly" present his case that environmental stewardship need not mean a stagnant economy.
With the debate on Canada’s Kyoto obligations centered on whether the economy can withstand a dramatic curtailing of emissions, Nicholas Stern minced no words as he argued that the "costs of action . . . are much less than the costs of inaction."
Kings-Hants MP Scott Brison, who met with Mr. Stern in his role as co-chairman of the Liberal platform committee, used the occasion to attack the governing Tories.
"Those countries who take climate change seriously can prosper in the 21st century," he said. "Those who don’t will be left behind. The measures he’s describing — in terms of cap and trade and putting a price on carbon — and aligning economic and environmental policy is diametrically opposite to where Harper wants to go."
Brison said the business community was open to Mr. Stern’s message.
"I would argue that, based on the reception Stern got in that room today, that the Canadian business community is ahead of Stephen Harper when it comes to climate change," he said.
Brison said business sees the opportunities in clean energy.
"The smart countries are going to succeed economically by being leaders in environmental technology," he said.
’I do not think it’s a horse race between growth and being responsible on climate change — good policy can give us both.’