Buried within the 2005 Canadian government budget is a comprehensive section on “green plans”.  One of the interesting hilights is the promise of a “feebate” for energy-efficient cars (and a possible levy on more polluting vehicles).  There isn’t a lot of detail about this plan, but it’s certainly a welcome change:

Of particular interest to the Government are measures that may encourage Canadians to acquire more environmentally friendly vehicles. As discussed below, the Government is negotiating with the auto manufacturing sector to achieve an agreement that would improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles sold in Canada. The Government believes that there may also be merit in the concept of a vehicle “feebate.” A feebate would provide a consumer rebate for fuel-efficient vehicles and impose a fee on fuel-inefficient vehicles. The program could be designed to be revenue neutral for the Government. Over time, a feebate could contribute to the improvement of the fuel efficiency of vehicles purchased in Canada, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved air quality.

As well, this might even apply to appliances:

 Consideration of a vehicle feebate may also generate useful lessons on the potential to apply the concept of a feebate for encouraging homeowners to acquire, and manufacturers to supply, more energy efficient home appliances.

It’s certainly not concrete or fleshed out in any real way, but it lays down the foundation for a more responsible environmental policy, as well as providing tools for the regular citizen to make an individual difference.

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