The BC government is asking for British Columbians’ comments on climate action by August 17th. Called the Climate Leadership Plan, this is Premier Christy Clark’s first major testing of the waters of public opinion on climate change.
There are several ways to comment:
- take the online survey;
- phone (250) 812-7712;
- email firstname.lastname@example.org; or,
- write a letter to one or more of: Premier Clark, Environment Minister Mary Polak and your MLA (and copy NDP leader John Horgan and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver).
This is a critically important opportunity. BCSEA encourages everyone to tell the BC government how it should reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Even more importantly, say you strongly support meaningful action by the government. A tepid response from the public will encourage weak actions by government.
Many changes are needed to move us to a sustainable, climate friendly path. BCSEA will make these key points in our submission:
1. The BC government should re-establish a high political priority on climate action. BC must live up to its international reputation for leadership and innovation on climate change.
2. The BC government must urgently publish a detailed, practical plan for BC to meet its legislated greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets. All sectors of society are ready and willing to contribute, but government leadership is essential. The plan must include ALL sources of GHG emissions, with annual reporting to confirm our progress toward meeting the targets. BC must meet the GHG targets; that is our fair share of the global burden.
3. The GHG reductions should be real GHG reductions, not just paper reductions. GHG offset mechanisms are not effective in actually reducing emissions, and they can be manipulated too easily.
4. The BC government should switch its economic development priorities and spending to the promotion of renewable energy, rather than fossil fuels. Subsidies to fossil fuels should be stopped. The fossil fuel industry must not be given any protection against future laws or taxes that restrict fossil fuel production or use.
5. BC’s carbon tax is a major success and should be strengthened. The amount of the tax should be increased by $5 per tonne of carbon per year for at least the next five years, so that it provides an increasing price signal to cut carbon pollution. The carbon tax should be broadened to include all sources of GHG emissions, including methane and GHG emissions from industrial processes. The government must eliminate special exemptions.
BCSEA will also be making specific suggestions on transportation, buildings and other sectors. For example, the BC government should ramp up its electric vehicle incentives and make a definite plan to electrify the vehicle fleet.