The province has outlined its new climate leadership plan, and there aren’t any surprises.
The big elephant in the room was whether or not the province would consider raising the carbon tax from the $30 per tonne that a Climate Leadership Team had recommended last November.
It turns out the province is sticking to its guns and will be keeping it the same, saying it wants to see what the federal government establishes as a benchmark price before considering any increments.
Premier Christy Clark says raising the tax was something “they were just not able to implement”.
Instead, Clark announced the province would be taking steps to address reducing GHGs in LNG transport, growing the number and incentivizing electric vehicles on roads, and more energy efficient buildings.
Josha MacNab of the Pembina Institute is among those already blasting the new plan.
She says Clark’s sentiment that she has to balance the economy with the environment was already laid out in the recommendations issued by the Climate Leadership Team.
“We need to find a way to deal with both of those things, and the plan that the Climate Leadership Team put forward did both of those things. It got us on track to seeing our 2015 emission reduction targets while maintaining a strong and healthy economy for British Columbia.”
MacNab says under Clark’s new plan, there won’t be any reduction of emission levels until at least 2030.
Jordan Bateman with the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation doesn’t often see eye to eye with the province, but is applauding their move not to raise the carbon tax.
Bateman says this is a government which has taken its fair share of heat for raising ICBC and MSP premiums, along with other taxes, so he’s welcoming this move.
“You’ve got to give them credit where credit’s due.”
“By holding the carbon tax in place, that’s defintiely a breath of fresh air for taxpayers around the province who have been struggling to make ends meet.”
Bateman is siding with the Premier when she said the province is still miles ahead of its counterparts in Canada when it comes to battling climate change.
He says letting the rest of the country catch up is a more cost-effective move. ‘