Thursday, July 21, 2022

Specific policies recommended for environmental programs

The federal government would be better to keep business risk management programs separate from those to tackle global warming, says a report from the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute.

The report from lead author and agriculture economist Al Mussell says policies with two sets of objectives often end up hampered from achieving desired results for either objective.

Rather than requiring environmental compliance to qualify for business risk management programs, Mussell suggests a better alternative would be the Environmental Farm Plan program.

In what he describes as a brief and quick report, he writes that:

“Pursuing multiple program objectives with a single set of programs increases the risks that the programs will not deliver on either outcome effectively and increases the government’s vulnerability to provide ad hoc supports.

“There are significant challenges with cross-compliance, including effectiveness, increasing moral hazard ( i.e. cheating), administrative burden and its impact on actuarial soundness. 

“Targeted environmental programs, possibly leveraging the Environmental Farm Plan, will likely deliver better, more efficient and effective environmental outcomes. 

“There is a need for a deeper dialogue on how to improve effectiveness, responsiveness, and innovation of risk management tools in Canada.”