Posted by: jmtoriel | March 18, 2016

Open Letter to BC Government’s Climate Leadership Plan

IMG_5586As an EV driver and advocate, a father of two, owner of a BC business and home owner, I see the value of shifting our province away from extraction and burning of fossil fuels towards a low carbon economy.

I am supportive of the package of recommendations proposed by the Climate Action Team and encourage government to implement all of them. Doing so will re-establish B.C. as a climate leader, ensure that carbon pollution starts dropping again and maintain a strong and diverse provincial economy. In particular:

I agree with the team’s findings that B.C. should move ahead with strong climate policies to help address the climate crisis, and that in doing so the province can continue building a strong and diverse economy. B.C.’s positive economic performance under the Climate Action Plan provides solid evidence in support of this conclusion.

BC should build on the climate policy framework already in place. Policies such as the carbon tax, the clean electricity standard, the energy-efficient building code and the low-carbon fuel standard have proven successful environmentally and economically, and it makes sense to build on that foundation of success. Moving forward in a timely manner will help get B.C. back on track, and it is also a critical opportunity to support global momentum following the positive agreement in Paris.

Given emissions in the transportation sector are the largest portion of our overall emissions, I strongly encourage the BC Government focus more heavily on significantly reducing these emissions.

I am concerned that the stall in B.C.’s climate policy development since 2012 left the Climate Leadership Team in the position of being unable to produce recommendations that would get B.C. on track to its legislated 2020 target. I don’t want to see delayed action and missed targets become the dominant climate narrative in B.C.

Regarding policy development, I agree with the Energy Forum in highlighting the following areas of interest:

Filling in gaps in the transportation and buildings recommendations to ensure that the policy package in the final Climate Leadership Plan is adequate to meet the 2030 targets identified in the Climate Leadership Team’s recommendations.

Providing further detail on how the province can successfully implement the recommendations to increase the use of renewable energy in remote communities and on the integrated grid.

Providing government with specific solutions on how competitiveness for emissions- intensive, trade-exposed sectors can be maintained while increasing and expanding the carbon tax, and how to assess when such measures are necessary.

Recommending approaches to minimize the local environmental impacts from the new renewable energy sources that will be needed as a result of the policies in the Climate Leadership Plan.

Supporting opportunities to increase and expand the carbon tax sooner than recommended by the Climate Leadership Team (2018 and 2021 respectively).

Ensuring that LNG and natural gas development do not undermine the province’s ability to meet medium and long-term climate targets.

Providing further detail on the direct investment that the provincial government should be making in transportation choices that help British Columbians and B.C. businesses reduce their carbon pollution (e.g. transit, walking/cycling infrastructure, rapid electric vehicle charging, etc.). A strong focus in electric vehicle adoption for fleets and light duty cars and trucks would have a tremendously positive impact in reducing emissions quickly with better emissions standards on vehicles. Successes in other jurisdictions have shown zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandated standards have been highly effective in ensuring supply of on-road ZEVs. Providing investment in DC fast charging infrastructure would also further increase adoption quickly.

Recommending approaches to reduce B.C.’s reliance on imported electricity from coal and other fossil fuels.

Recommending approaches to account for, and reduce, the carbon pollution associated with imported electricity.

Thank you again for continuing to advance the Climate Leadership Plan and for considering these perspectives. The plan offers a huge opportunity for the province to help contribute to global progress in the fight against climate change by demonstrating economic and environmental success stories close to home. We would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and/or members of the cabinet working group on climate leadership during the consultation currently underway.

Respectfully,

J-M Toriel

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Responses

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    • BION I’m imedrsspe! Cool post!


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