Environment Minister Mary Polak today announced next steps towards developing a Climate Leadership Plan by spring 2016, as she marked the release of the Climate Leadership Team’s recommendations for the B.C. government’s new Climate Leadership Plan.
British Columbia is recognized as a world leader in the fight against climate change, while growing a strong economy:
- First jurisdiction in North America to introduce a broad-based, revenue-neutral carbon tax, with a price on carbon of $30/tonne.
- Clean electricity supply through hydro-electric power and renewables. B.C.’s electricity supply was 97.9% clean for the year ending Mar. 31, 2015.
- First jurisdiction in North America to achieve a carbon-neutral public sector.
With other jurisdictions moving towards B.C.’s price on carbon and climate action, the Climate Leadership Team developed 32 recommendations for consideration by the provincial government to move B.C.’s climate agenda forward to achieve 2050 targets.
The recommendations largely address two areas.
CLT Recommendation: The CLT recommends that B.C. builds on the success of the carbon tax by establishing a new, innovative fiscal policy that helps mitigate impacts on emission-intensive, trade-exposed sectors while putting a higher price on pollution.
Government response: The provincial government has frozen the current $30/per tonne carbon tax until 2018 in order to allow other jurisdictions to catch up to British Columbia. The province would only consider an increase in the carbon tax under a regime where emission-intensive, trade-exposed industries are fully protected from any carbon tax increase.
In January 2016, British Columbia will begin consultations with industry and the public to consider new fiscal policies that would maintain the principle of revenue-neutrality, ensure the affordability of British Columbia families, fully protect our emission-intensive, trade-exposed sectors and maintain the competitiveness of BC businesses.
“I want to thank the members of the Climate Leadership Team who were tasked with an important and challenging job, to consider a broad range of actions across our province’s industrial, transportation and building sectors, helping us move our climate agenda forward,” said Premier Christy Clark.
“The team has now delivered a thoughtful report full of innovative approaches that respects the need to protect industry competiveness and family affordability,” said Polak. “We will now work diligently with all stakeholders, and all British Columbians to build our new climate plan.”
Taking Actions to Reduce Emissions:
CLT recommendation: The CLT recommends a 2030 target to reduce emissions across three broad sectors: Built Environment, Industry and Transportation by 40%, compared to 2007.
Government response: The province commits to a detailed review and analysis of the CLT’s recommendations as well as other actions to develop a robust plan to establish and achieve emissions reductions across the three broad sectors identified by the Team.
Additionally, government re-affirms B.C.’s commitment to achieve the 2050 targets and will establish periodic reviews of the government’s progress on meeting its targets.
Earlier this year, the Climate Leadership Team, consisting of leaders from the business, academic and environmental communities, as well as First Nations and local governments, was appointed by Premier Clark to review options for economic development and greenhouse-gas emissions reductions, and also make recommendations for government’s new Climate Leadership Plan.
The Climate Leadership Plan, which will help the province remain a global climate action leader and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, is being developed through the advice of this strong team of experts and public consultation.
Government is reviewing the Climate Leadership Team’s recommendations, and in January 2016, will begin a public consultation process to engage the public in the development of the next phase of our provincial climate plan.
View the Climate Leadership Team’s recommendations here: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/116/2015/11/CLT-recommendations-to-government_Final.pdf
For more information about the B.C. government’s Climate Leadership Plan visit: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/climateleadership
Media RelationsMinistry of Environment
May 2015 – Premier Christy Clark appoints the Climate Leadership Team, made up of leaders from B.C. businesses, communities, First Nations, academia and the environmental sector, to provide advice and recommendations to government for its new Climate Leadership Plan.
July 2015 – British Columbians are invited to review and comment on a newly released discussion paper that considers the ideas, values and priorities they want to see in a new Climate Leadership Plan. The 30-day public engagement period is extended into September for those wishing to provide written submissions. In addition to 5,973 completed surveys, government also received over 200 detailed written submissions and more than 300 template letters.
November 2015 – The Climate Leadership Team submits its report to government, consisting of 32 recommendations for advancing B.C.’s climate leadership.
January 2016 – The Province will begin a public consultation process to engage the public in the development of the next phase of our provincial climate plan.
Spring 2016 – Government’s new Climate Leadership Plan will be released, laying out a path for British Columbia to achieve targets for greenhouse gas reductions while growing a strong economy.
On May 12, 2015, Premier Christy Clark appointed the Climate Leadership Team, consisting of leaders from B.C. businesses, communities, First Nations, academia and the environmental sector, to provide advice and recommendations to government for its new Climate Leadership Plan.
Since then the team has met nine times in person, as well as on several occasions through teleconference.
The team’s report consists of 32 recommendations touching several areas including:
- GHG reduction targets, including setting a legislated target for 2030 of 40% GHG reduction from 2007 levels, and reaffirming B.C.’s commitment to the 2050 target of an 80% GHG reduction from 2007 levels.
- Fiscal policy, including addressing B.C.’s carbon tax to ensure a fiscal policy to mitigate impacts on emission-intensive, trade-exposed sectors must be in place before increasing the carbon tax.
- Industry policy in areas including emerging economic opportunities, environmental assessment, electricity, natural gas and LNG, forestry and agriculture.
- Transportation, including low-carbon fuels and zero-emission vehicles.
- Buildings, including various measures to reduce GHG emissions.
- Communities, including reducing GHGs from waste and landfills, as well as adapting to climate change.
- First Nations, including ensuring adequate access to climate solutions.
- Offsets, including a review of the Province’s current offset policy.
- Intergovernmental relations, including ideas to ensure alignment and parity with climate actions in different jurisdictions.
- Periodic review, to ensure momentum and commitment to climate action is maintained.
The complete report from the Climate Leadership Team can be viewed at: http://climate.gov.bc.ca/
- Since the introduction of the Climate Action Plan in 2008, B.C. has been recognized as a world leader in the fight against climate change, while growing a strong economy. B.C. was the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce a broad-based, revenue-neutral carbon tax, and to have a carbon-neutral public sector.
- The Clean Energy Act was enacted in 2010, setting out 16 energy objectives including conservation, and greenhouse gas reduction.
- The act commits B.C. to having at least 93% of electricity generated from clean or renewable resources. In fact, B.C’s electricity supply was 97.9% clean for the fiscal year ending March 31st, 2015 with 25% coming from private renewables.
- The Province has shown it can reduce GHG emissions while continuing to grow the economy. In June 2014, government announced that B.C. had reached its first interim GHG emissions reduction target of six per cent below 2007 levels by 2012.
Recent, new climate actions
- Re-joining of the Climate Group States and Regions Alliance [November 2015]
- Renewed Clean Energy Vehicle Program [March 2015]
- Carbon Neutral Capital Program for K-to-12 schools was expanded to include health authorities and public post-secondary institutions [March 2014]
- $1.24 million over three years to support local government and First Nations energy capital projects and energy-efficiency improvements [April 2015]
- Expanded utility energy-efficiency programs and support for energy retrofits in low-income households [July 2014]
- New energy-efficiency provisions under the B.C. Building Code [December 2013 and 2014]
- Through the Pacific Coast Collaborative, B.C.’s leading low-carbon fuel standards will be the standard for other jurisdictions to match. (2013)
- Working through other important international partnerships like the World Bank Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition [February 2015] and Compact of States and Regions [December 2014] to encourage other jurisdictions to follow B.C.’s lead on carbon pricing
Putting a price on carbon allows jurisdictions to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the lowest cost to the economy. Pricing carbon creates a market-based incentive for individuals, businesses and the public sector to reduce their GHG emissions, stimulate the green economy, and provide new sources of government revenue.
British Columbia’s carbon tax
- B.C. has North America’s first and still most comprehensive carbon tax that ensures B.C. industries remain competitive relative to other jurisdictions in the world.
- Every dollar generated by the carbon tax is returned to British Columbians through reductions in other taxes. In fact, for 2015/16, the reduction in provincial revenue is forecasted to exceed carbon tax revenues by $360 million.
- In a December 2014 speech, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim praised B.C.’s carbon tax as “one of the most powerful” examples of carbon pricing.
- Whether at the national or sub-national level, B.C. continues to encourage other governments to take action to combat climate change – to meet or beat its carbon tax.
How does B.C.’s carbon tax compare?
- Carbon prices globally vary widely. Even with these differences considered, B.C.’s carbon tax is among the highest in the world.
For a graphic comparing carbon taxes around the world, please visit: http://ow.ly/V9O2m
How and where is carbon priced?
- The World Bank reports that more than 40 countries and more than 20 cities, states and provinces use carbon pricing mechanisms or are planning to implement them.
- There are two main mechanisms to price carbon: through a carbon tax; or through a cap-and-trade system, also known as an emissions trading system (ETS).
- There are currently 17 emissions trading systems operating around the world, incorporating 35 countries, 12 states and provinces, and seven cities.
- Nineteen jurisdictions have implemented a carbon tax, ranging from US $130 per tonne of CO2 equivalent emissions, to less than US $1 per tonne.
- Out of this total, 12 jurisdictions have implemented (or are scheduled to implement) both a carbon tax and an ETS.