VICTORIA – Environment Minister Mary Polak today announced next steps towards developing a Climate Leadership Plan by spring 2016, as she marked the release of the Climate Leadership Team’s recommendations for the B.C. government’s new Climate Leadership Plan. British Columbia is recognized as a world leader in the fight against climate change, while growing a strong economy:
* First jurisdiction in North America to introduce a broad-based, revenue-neutral carbon tax, with a price on carbon of $30/tonne, achieve a carbon-neutral public sector.
* Clean electricity supply through hydro-electric power and renewables. B.C.’s electricity supply was 97.9% clean for the year ending Mar. 31, 2015.
With other jurisdictions moving towards B.C.’s price on carbon and climate action, the Climate Leadership Team developed 32 recommendations for consideration by the provincial government to move B.C.’s climate agenda forward to achieve 2050 targets. The recommendations largely address two areas.
CLT Recommendation: The CLT recommends that B.C. builds on the success of the carbon tax by establishing a new, innovative fiscal policy that helps mitigate impacts on emission-intensive, trade-exposed sectors while putting a higher price on pollution.
Government response: The provincial government has frozen the current $30/per tonne carbon tax until 2018 in order to allow other jurisdictions to catch up to British Columbia. The province would only consider an increase in the carbon tax under a regime where emission-intensive, trade-exposed industries are fully protected from any carbon tax increase.
In January 2016, British Columbia will begin consultations with industry and the public to consider new fiscal policies that would maintain the principle of revenue-neutrality, ensure the affordability of British Columbia families, fully protect our emission-intensive, trade-exposed sectors and maintain the competitiveness of BC businesses.
Actions to Reduce Emissions:
CLT recommendation: The CLT recommends a 2030 target to reduce emissions across three broad sectors: Built Environment, Industry and Transportation by 40%, compared to 2007.
Government response: The province commits to a detailed review and analysis of the CLT’s recommendations as well as other actions to develop a robust plan to establish and achieve emissions reductions across the three broad sectors identified by the Team.
Additionally, government re-affirms B.C.’s commitment to achieve the 2050 targets and will establish periodic reviews of the government’s progress on meeting its targets.
Earlier this year, the Climate Leadership Team, consisting of leaders from the business, academic and environmental communities, as well as First Nations and local governments, was appointed by Premier Clark to review options for economic development and greenhouse-gas emissions reductions, and also make recommendations for government’s new Climate Leadership Plan.
The Climate Leadership Plan, which will help the province remain a global climate action leader and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, is being developed through the advice of this strong team of experts and public consultation.
Reviewing the CLT’s recommendations, the government will begin in January 2016 a public consultation process to engage the public in the development of the next phase of our provincial climate plan.
The Climate Leadership Team’s report can be viewed at: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/climateleadership/files/2015/11/CLT-recommendations-to-government_Nov26Final.pdf and Climate Leadership Plan at http://engage.gov.bc.ca/climateleadership