Christy Clark: B.C. still world leader in fight against climate change
Since the introduction of our Climate Action Plan in 2008, British Columbia has been recognized as a world leader in the fight against climate change.
That doesn't mean we should rest on our laurels—so we're taking the next steps forward, building on past and present success.
Last week, Environment Minister Mary Polak and I announced Climate Action Plan 2.0. Mike Bernier, parliamentary secretary for energy literacy and the environment, will chair the team. With his impressive climate credentials—during his time as mayor, Dawson Creek became a leader in clean energy and climate action—Mike is the right person for the job.
The first step will be the formation of a new Climate Leadership Team, consisting of leaders from B.C. businesses, First Nations, academia, and the environmental sector. The Climate Leadership Team will provide advice and recommendations to government as we develop Climate Action Plan 2.0.
Our climate actions led to tangible, long-term success in reducing B.C.'s greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, we announced that we had reached our first GHG emissions reduction target of six percent below 2007 levels by 2012.
At the centre of our plan is North America's first and most comprehensive carbon tax. Thanks in large part to our carbon tax, our strong, diverse economy is growing, emissions are falling, and—because the carbon tax is revenue neutral—we've cut taxes.
We don't always appreciate the international recognition our climate leadership receives, but there's increasing global recognition not only that carbon pricing is necessary to reduce GHG emissions, but that B.C.'s broad-based, revenue-neutral carbon tax is a successful model to follow. Just last week, I was invited to the World Bank-International Monetary Fund spring meetings in Washington, D.C. to speak about our carbon tax—the first time a Canadian premier has been invited to speak at the forum.
Last December, Minister Polak represented B.C. at the United Nations climate change conference in Lima Peru, meeting people from all over the world who wanted to know more about our carbon tax.
This year, Mike Bernier spoke at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston at the invitation of Massachusetts legislators, who are considering a carbon tax of their own. He also presented our carbon tax success story to Canada's premiers when he represented B.C. at last week's First Ministers' climate summit in Quebec City.
Whether at the national or subnational level, B.C. continues to encourage governments to take action to combat climate change—to meet or beat our carbon tax. There are reasons to be encouraged. Recently, both Oregon and Washington have committed to carbon pricing through the Pacific Coast Collaborative, and have expressed keen interest in learning more about our Climate Action Plan and carbon tax as they prepare plans of their own.
British Columbia remains committed to achieving our legislated GHG reduction targets of 33 percent below 2007 levels by 2020, and 80 percent below by 2050, and Climate Action Plan 2.0 will help us get there—and keep the eyes of the world squarely on B.C.
Apr 21, 2015 at 2:07pm
The planet earth is 4.5 billion years old. Our planet has had climate change before. If the planet increases or decreases in global temperature it's not because of a few aluminum cans or stupid recycling bins. Shut up Christy Clark, you don't know anything about the climate.
Apr 21, 2015 at 4:36pm
JTM you are absolutely right when it comes to Cristy but your idea of climate change is a different story.
Take the novel idea of carbon tax it gives government extra revenue but the emissions are just shuffled from one corporation to another.
Apr 22, 2015 at 9:45pm
JMT and Kim you are both useless commentators, doing nothing is the wrong approach.
Carbon offsets are huge, basically it finally puts a financial value on carbon, you know what all organic life is based on. Storing the carbon or not consuming it makes it become a commodity and suddenly BC is much richer.
The best part is that places like Alberta will end up paying us offsets because they are a net exporter of carbon and all our huge forest resources are a net importer, when we choose to store it instead of cutting it or growing more of it. This has the fringe benefit of improving water and air quality, providing better wildlife habitat, on and on.
You can criticise all you want but you still live in a society that thrives on carbon based fuel, food and resources. BC is setting an excellent example and maybe someday you will wake up and realise we are not Alberta or Ontario...or China. Focus on the positive and you will attract the positive LOL