Green Party supports clean energy proposals
March 7, 2013. Victoria - Proposals put forward by Better Future BC to strengthen BC's Carbon Tax are fairly closely aligned with policies and objectives of The Green Party of BC, Leader Jane Sterk said Thursday in response to a Better Future BC announcement. "We have been briefed on the proposals and are recommending to Green Party members and candidates that they be endorsed," she said. "We will be supporting this initiative going into the May 14 Provincial election.
"The Green Party believes firmly that the Carbon Tax must remain a key element in BC's Greenhouse Gas Emission reduction strategy, and that in order to achieve reduction targets, continued and increasing incentives to conserve and switch to clean energy must be provided."
"It's in all of our interests to take meaningful action against climate change," Ms. Sterk said. "Clean Energy Canada is a collective that includes The BC Sustainable Energy Association, Clean Energy at Tides Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institue. Working together with these organizations will result the kind of synergy that encourages positive change."
Specific elements of the Better Future BC proposal include:
Closing loopholes that exclude the oil and gas industry, aluminum producers and cement producers from paying the carbon tax, a measure that would add $120 million in new revenue. (Green Party of BC policy calls for a broadly-based carbon tax with no exclusions.)
Increasing the carbon tax by increments of $5 a year over four years to $50 per ton of CO2 produced. (Green Party policy calls for an immediate increase to $50 per ton, with continued increases until Greenhouse Gas reduction targets are achieved.)
Using increased carbon tax revenues (about $1 billion when the tax reaches $50 a ton) to stimulate Green initiatives, including:
▪ A community fund to encourage transit and local GHG reduction programs - $375 million
▪ An innovation fund for Green Business development - $50 million
▪ A home and energy efficiency fund - $25 million
▪ $500 million for general revenues or climate change adaptation initiatives
Current Green Party policy calls for a continuation of revenue neutrality, with Carbon Tax revenues being offset by tax reductions. "An argument can be made for using the new revenues to help us reach our targets," Ms. Sterk said. "I think we can support targeted money, but we have concerns with any Carbon Tax revenues going into general revenue. A link has to remain between that money and GHG emission reductions."