The BC NDP has released its climate action plan ahead of the next election, and ahead of the federal Liberal government’s carbon tax.
Leader John Horgan says if the NDP takes the next provincial election his government would bring in Ottawa’s mandate gradually, starting in 2020 with a $6/tonne carbon tax increase, followed by a $7 increase in each of the two years after that.
But Horgan’s numbers on meeting emission targets remain up in the air.
“The number that we’re embracing from the leadership team is 40% from the 2007 standard by 2030, and we’ll modify and refine that as we get closer to the election campaign,” Horgan says.
The NDP also says 80% of B.C. families will qualify for carbon tax rebates, double the 40% who currently do.
The plan’s unveiling was marred somewhat when the rival BC Liberals leaked it to the media about an hour before Horgan’s presser was scheduled.
But Horgan shrugged off concerns that someone in his camp may have leaked to the other side.
“This is about making life better for British Columbians, this is about directly addressing the challenge of our time and that’s reducing the emmisions in British Columbia.”
“If the BC Liberals don’t have a plan I’m happy that they’re sending our plan out .”
The BC Liberals’ climate plan, rolled out in August, was widely panned by environmentalists after passing on nearly half of the recommendations of its own Climate Leadership Team.
Among the rejected recommendations was a proposal to begin raising the carbon tax again starting in 2018, which the Liberals argued would drive jobs away.
The plan isntead focused on reducing GHGs in LNG transport, growing the number and incentivizing electric vehicles on roads, and more energy efficient buildings.
“Kick the can down the road”
Meanwhile the BC Greens are dismissing the NDP climate plan as no plan at all.
Green leader Andrew Weaver says the NDP’s proposal is hobbled by its fuzziness on emissions targets.
“What he calls a made-in-BC strategy is actually a ‘let’s kick the can down the road another three years,’ and then we’ll do what (PM Justin) Trudeau has already said will happen.”
“And we know that Trudeau’s plan won’t meet Harper’s targets.”
Weaver says the Greens will release their emissions policy in early March.