Premier Christy Clark announces her climate action advisory team in May 2015

Raise carbon tax, B.C. advisors recommend

Too late to meet 2020 greenhouse gas reduction target, panel tells Environment Minister Mary Polak and Premier Christy Clark

The B.C. government’s climate advisory panel wants to start increasing the province’s carbon tax with a 33 per cent jump in 2018, and says even with higher fuel tax the province won’t meet its current target to reduce greenhouse gases one third by 2020.

The carbon tax has been frozen at $30 a tonne since 2013, a rate that translates to about seven cents a litre on gasoline and similar taxes on diesel, natural gas and other carbon-based fuels. The government’s advisory team recommends increasing the carbon tax by $10 a tonne each year starting in 2018, with increased rebates for low-income and rural B.C. residents.

Environment Minister Mary Polak released the panel’s recommendations Friday, as the B.C. delegation led by Premier Christy Clark prepares to attend the United Nations climate change meetings in Paris next week.

Polak was skeptical about one of the panel’s recommendations, to cut the provincial sales tax from seven per cent to six and replace the revenues through higher carbon taxes in the years ahead.

“It is one of their recommendations, and so we’ll be looking at it along with the others, but I think at first blush, the numbers probably don’t work,” Polak said.

The panel, appointed in May with industry and environmental representatives, concluded that the 2020 reduction target isn’t going to be met. It recommends a new target of a 40 per cent reduction by 2030, and says the original target of an 80 per cent cut can still be reached with “aggressive” carbon pricing and expansion of the tax to include industrial emissions.

Polak said she accepts that assessment, and will consult with industry and B.C. residents before setting new policies next spring to meet the new 2030 target.

NDP leader John Horgan said the Clark government has frozen the carbon tax and delayed progress on Metro Vancouver transit with a referendum they expected would fail.

“Rather than reduce emissions, they’ve gone up,” Horgan said. “And we’re not even counting liquefied natural gas.”

Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver said the recommendation to resume increases in the carbon tax is “bold,” but the report also shows Clark’s government gave up on the 2020 target that is still in legislation.

“The key thing is that these recommendations are completely incompatible with the government’s LNG plan,” Weaver said.

 

Just Posted

After fire, Spallumcheen ranch hopes to rebuild

“We lost over 10 years of work in one night.”

Vernon cops arrest ‘prolific offender’ after evasion attempt

A 25-year-old Vernon man was arrested Nov. 17

Star status for Coldstream’s Jordan Korol

UBC Okanagan basketball product named Canada West third star of the week after career-high weekend

Kalamalka Lakers of Coldstream win first-ever B.C. high school tourney soccer game

Okanagan runners-up stun Port Coquitlam school to wrap up preliminary round in Burnaby

CONTEST: New year, new you

KimXO has partnered with Black Press Media and Third Space for a brand new contest

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Vernon Film Society shows Summer 1993

Film from prospective of a six-year-old plays Nov. 26 at Galaxy Theatres

Religious conference in Vernon Monday

Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada host much anticipated conference titled Pathway To Peace

Okanagan Big Band dances in support of Camp Winfield

Vernon concert raises funds to send special needs children to Camp Winfield thourgh Easter Seals

Love thy neighbour? Or not?

Okanagan Screen Arts Society shows Under The Tree Nov. 26

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Vernon Rocks sees large crowd

Vernon Lapidary and Mineral Club’s event a success

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Most Read