|Print Version||Climate Change|
Not one, not two, but three days of rave reviews for BC's green budget in Jeffrey Simpson's column in the Globe! It's the kind of coverage PM Harper and Premier Stelmach can only dream about when it comes to climate change policies. Of course, they ignored the advice set out in Jaccard and Simpson's book, Meeting Canada's Climate Change Challenge which BC has adopted pretty much straight up. It's a position I've endorsed as well (see blogs last October), and BC deserves all the kudos coming its way.
Over the weekend, I finally had a chance to read the green budget documents themselves. They get down to details, showing how annual tax offsets of $200 in the second year of the program will more than adequately pay for a householder's new carbon tax burden (page 18 of the pdf version). Presumably this annual cost / tax offset will double by the time the program is fully implemented in 2012. Nevertheless, the bottom line is this simple: All the brouhaha, the doom and gloom scenarios, the frenzied fear-mongering indulged in by other politicians boils down to just $400 a year for most of us - and even that will be covered by other measures.
Of course, BC's carbon tax is predicted to lower their GHG emissions by just 3 Mt a year (page 20). The province's target is 22 Mt a year (page 10). So where's the rest going to come from? The government admits it doesn't know quite yet but it promises to introduce a cap and trade system for large industrial emitters later this year, as well as tough tailpipe standards for new vehicles in BC. The budget also hints at the possibility of higher carbon taxes, although it promises to continue its ‘revenue neutral' approach. In any event, it's a step in the right direction and answers industry's demand that we all, consumers and producers alike, contribute to GHG emission reductions.
Now all we have to do is convince Prime Minister Harper and Premier Stelmach that they need to get with the program. According to Simpson, Gordon Campbell was converted when he visited Beijing and gagged on its excessive air pollution. Here's a suggestion: How about giving the PM and Alberta's Premier a one way ticket to Beijing, and tying them down there until they too are converted? You have to admit the idea holds a certain appeal.
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I would happily be taxed more if I knew that it was going to take significant steps in reducing our GHG emissions. It would however be nice to see some sort of parallel in other areas. The king can tithe his people all he wants but you cannot get blood from a stone and at some point the institution itself has to start making significant changes AND be a role model (ie federally)cap emissions funding for renewable resources to make them more affordable for the consumer
Posted On Feb 25 11:26AM