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BC Climate Plan Released

The BC government released it’s plan for addressing climate change Friday August 19. The plan has been met with some fairly harsh criticism from the Climate Leadership Team (CLT) which was created to make recommendations to the government for the climate plan. The goals of the new plan were as follows:

–           Achieving BC’s legislated Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets;

–           Maintaining a strong economy (considering LNG Strategy and BC Jobs Plan);

–           Mitigating negative impacts on vulnerable populations; and

–           Maintaining BC’s reputation for world-leading climate policies.

(Climate Leadership Team, Recommendations to Government, October 2015)

 

After being released, the plan has done a poor job in some respects. First, the GHG emissions target recommendations were ignored. However, they were not outright denied either and could be added later. From an environmentally focused position it seems the government is banking on a magic bullet technology to reach the mandated 80% below 2007 levels by 2050. The recommendation to make 40% cuts by 2030 that was not included in the plan was meant to get the government to take steps now, not keep waiting.

 

The plan’s strongest aspect is, unsurprisingly, protecting the economy. The recommendation to raise the carbon tax was rejected as being too much strain for the economy. However, without increases over time to the carbon tax, the incentive to innovate that the tax is meant to stimulate is not created. The CLT also recommended that adjustment mechanisms and complementary policies be included in the increased carbon tax to help ease the pain of a carbon tax while still maintaining the creation of incentives to innovate. Refraining from accepting any of the recommendations made by the CLT in full could prove to be a mistake if the people of BC want to meet the 80% GHG reductions by 2050. Hopefully the current plan is amended in the future to include a few more of the CLT’s recommendations and adds in GHG goals nearer than the ultimate goal set for 2050.

 

For more information on the recommendation made by the CLT visit:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2623232-climate-leadership-team-recommendations-to.html

For more information about the Government’s Climate Plan visit:

https://climate.gov.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2016/06/4030_CLP_Booklet_web.pdf

 

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