As reported in our earlier
blog, British Columbia (BC) Premier Christy Clark appointed a
Climate Leadership Team in May 2015 to provide advice and
recommendations to government for its new Climate Leadership Plan.
The Climate Leadership Team's mandate was based on four
cornerstone objectives: (i) achieving BC's legislated GHG
emission reduction targets; (ii) maintaining a strong economy;
(iii) mitigating negative impacts on vulnerable populations; and
(iv) maintaining BC's reputation for world-leading climate
Following extensive stakeholder consultations throughout the
summer, the Climate Leadership Team prepared a report that was released by the BC government
on November 27, 2015, in advance of the upcoming international
climate negotiations in Paris. The team's report consists of 32
recommendations addressing a number of areas including GHG
reduction targets, carbon tax design, transportation, buildings,
communities, offsets, and First Nations. Based on extensive
modelling of different pathways to meet the objectives of their
mandate, the Climate Leadership Team concluded that any pathway
that achieves these objectives will require the following four
an increasing and expanded carbon
adjustment mechanisms within the
carbon pricing framework to address both competitiveness impacts on
emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries (with such
adjustments being designed in a manner that does not undermine the
incentive to reduce emissions) and vulnerable populations;
complementary polices that either
enhance the effect of the carbon pricing regime and/or target
emissions not effectively reached through carbon pricing; and
periodic review of the foregoing
three elements over time.
The recommendations are intended to be strategic in nature,
meaning that detailed specifics will be set out at the policy and
program level. In addition to broad strategies, the Climate
Leadership Team has proposed a number of economically progressive
recommendations, among them:
Lowering the provincial sales tax
(PST) from 7% to 6%, supported by incremental carbon tax.
Increasing the carbon tax by $10 per
year commencing in July 2018 while (a) maintaining the current tax
reductions achieved through the existing carbon tax that are broad
based, provide support to vulnerable populations, or promote GHG
reductions; (b) adjusting the current low income and rural and
northern tax credits; and (c) establishing targeted and transparent
mechanisms for emission-intensive, trade-exposed sectors until such
time that carbon pricing and regulatory policy equivalency with
other jurisdictions is achieved.
Expanding the coverage of the current
carbon tax to apply to all GHG emission sources in BC after five
years, starting with measurable GHG emissions covered by the
current reporting regulation.
Using incremental revenues generated
from the increase in the carbon tax to (a) eliminate PST on all
electricity rates; (b) establish mechanisms to facilitate
investments in technology and innovation that reduce GHG emissions;
and (c) establish mechanisms to provide local governments with
funding for projects that will result in demonstrable GHG emission
This article was originally posted on the Canadian Energy
Perspectives blog on November 30, 2015.
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