SAN FRANCISCO - Oregon and Washington states soon will be following British Columbia's lead by putting a price on carbon.
The agreement was reached today following a meeting of the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) leaders' forum in San Francisco, chaired by Premier Christy Clark and attended by Environment Minister Mary Polak.
"When B.C. put a price on carbon with our revenue-neutral carbon tax it was recognized as a ground-breaking achievement, especially since we've proven it's possible to grow the economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Polak. "As a climate action trailblazer, B.C. has been encouraging other jurisdictions to follow our lead, and the agreement signed today is the result of that effort. It's great news that Washington and Oregon are committing to carbon pricing."
Carbon pricing was one of a number of actions the leaders from California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia committed to in the 2013 Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, in order to take a lead in national and international policy on climate change. British Columbia introduced its carbon tax in 2008, with California putting in place a carbon pricing mechanism earlier this year through a cap-and-trade system.
PCC leaders also agreed to further develop cleaner, alternative fuels to not only help reduce GHG emissions in the transportation sector, but to also help reduce global GHG emissions through export.
"Climate change is a global issue," said Polak. "By exporting natural gas, B.C. will supply growing markets with the cleanest burning fossil fuel. B.C. is now competing with jurisdictions globally to be part of this supply and has committed to having the cleanest LNG operations in the world."
Other areas for action stemming from the agreement include investing in clean energy and climate-resilient infrastructure.
The Pacific Coast Collaborative was established to address the unique and shared circumstances of the Pacific coastal areas and jurisdictions in North America by providing a framework for co-operative action, a forum for leadership and the sharing of information on best practices, and a common voice on issues facing coastal and Pacific jurisdictions.
B.C.'s Carbon Tax
- Since B.C.'s carbon tax was implemented, fossil fuel consumption in the province has gone down by more than the national average, without affecting economic growth.
- B.C.'s carbon tax is revenue neutral, meaning every dollar generated by the tax is returned to British Columbians through personal and business tax cuts.
- Since 2008, the carbon tax has raised a total of $3.7 billion - all reinvested into tax reductions for businesses, individuals and families.
Pacific Coast Collaborative
- California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia have a combined population of 53 million.
- The regional economy has a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion, which makes it the world's fifth-largest.
- The findings of the 2012 West Coast Clean Economy report projected 1.03 million new jobs could be created in key sectors, such as energy efficiency and advanced transportation, assuming the right policy environment.
To view the 2013 Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, and the Pacific Coast Collaborative's news release regarding the agreement, go to: www.pacificcoastcollaborative.org
Ministry of Environment