Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Legislating a Green Economy

There is currently a movement in legislatures to promote green energy and the building of a green economy. This approach is not without critics either. Recently the Canadian province of Ontario passed the Green Energy Act. Some of the basics include required home energy audits by sellers of homes, feed-in tariffs and spending to usher in renewable energy. The National Post has been quite critical publishing editorial pieces almost daily about there view of the proposed legislation (1, 2, 3 as examples). They also cited a section of the legislation that outlines inspection and search powers and those were portrayed rather negatively as can be expected with any legislation that has search powers.

What is really happening here? I can't tell. I've tried reading the legislation but haven't been able to get anywhere. The news releases and talking points sound kind of vague at best. It looks like the intent is good by promoting renewable energy and conservation. However, the implementation and the details of how everything will work still need to be deciphered. I think this is one of the first pieces of such legislation in a major North American jurisdiction so we need to see how it works and who will follow suit. I think we have a long way to go in North America for any real green infrastructure but any movement in that direction is a positive start.

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