A 2002 government report discouraged against the approach now favoured by the Conservative side.
The report compared a targeted approach — consisting of various tools, such as regulations, incentives and agreements — to a system that sets caps on industrial pollution and creates a market in which polluters would pay by buying credits from those that reduce emissions … The discussion paper suggested that the approach adopted by the Conservative party would be the worst possible solution for the economy and the environment.
“This approach requires many initiatives, likely by three different orders of government, with the associated administrative costs,” said the report. “And because it does not use market forces to find the lowest-cost emissions reduction opportunities, it is inevitably a higher-cost approach than those based on emissions trading. . . . This option likely also provides the least certainty for meeting a target.”