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Government Position/Policy and Climate Change

As one can imagine a government's position on climate change is quite important when looking at how to address climate change. Governments have an arsenal of "stick" or "carrot" options at their disposal. On the one hand, the government can deter certain industrial practices by imposing higher taxes, barriers to entry, or regulations. Alternatively, the government has the ability to support certain industries or agendas by providing subsidies, special tax rates, research and development funding, and overall ease of doing business. 

The Case of the Amazon

By the end of the 20th century, illegal and violent deforestation was raging in Brazil throughout the Amazon rainforest. Following domestic protests and international condemnation, the government implemented strict conservation regulations enforced by the environmental regulator, IBAMA and the army. This led to a dramatic 83.5% decrease in illegal deforestation between 2004 and 2012. Following years of tense political discourse including a number of massive scandals, right-wing populist candidate Jair Bolsonaro, an avowed defender of the past military dictatorship in Brazil won the election. Bolsonaro stated he was committed to opening up the rainforest for industry and within months of his inauguration, deforestation increased by an eyewatering 92%. Here we can see the relationship between a government's position on climate change and environmental issues can be extremely influential to a country's path forward. 

Green Innovation in Canada

Canada is firmly planted as a leader in green innovation and government positions that have provided support to new green tech start-ups have been crucial. In Canada, over 290,000 people are employed in Canada's green energy sector alone. In recent years the Canadian Government has provided a number of supports to businesses such as the Energy Innovation Program and the Clean Growth Hub. This funding has allowed numerous businesses to further develop their products/services to a point where it can be a viable business.

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