VICTORIA — Today’s B.C. budget rolls out key investments in climate and cleaner transportation designed to modernize transit systems and make clean cars and trucks more affordable. Legislation that will increase availability of electric vehicles is an important part of meeting the province’s emission targets from the transportation sector, B.C.’s largest sources of carbon pollution.
“Modernizing B.C.’s transportation systems and vehicles is a smart choice. These investments will mean better health, cleaner air and less time stuck in traffic for B.C. families,” Foundation science and policy director Ian Bruce said. The Foundation welcomes the inclusion of a consumer incentive program that will save British Columbians up to $6,000 on the sticker price of a zero-emission vehicle.
Given the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 12-year time frame for urgent and unprecedented changes to prevent severe consequences of climate change, investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and reducing the province’s carbon footprint couldn’t be more important.
While the CleanBC climate plan demonstrates leadership compared to other provinces, some areas of investment fall short of what is needed. B.C. has not met the North American best practices bar for regulating methane pollution from the oil and gas industry, B.C.’s largest polluter. Without accounting for the full carbon footprint of this potent greenhouse gas, the claim that B.C. LNG projects are “clean” rings hollow. In addition, B.C. missed an opportunity to deliver on its commitment to apply the carbon tax to methane pollution.
Enabling investments in renewable energy such as wind power, solar and smaller run-of-river hydro projects is a cost-effective strategy to realize CleanBC objectives, as these technologies have become the cheapest sources of energy generation available. The Foundation welcomes the $18 million investment for Indigenous-led community renewable energy projects and will continue to advocate for these long-term investments as a better alternative to the cost overruns and challenges to First Nations’ rights and title associated with megadam projects such as Site C.
“B.C.’s renewable energy sector has a vital role to play in meeting B.C.’s climate goals,” Bruce said. “With the exception of some key investment for Indigenous projects, today’s budget overlooked some of B.C.’s greatest assets.”
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- A total of $354 million over the next three years will be invested in clean transportation, industry and green homes and buildings:
- $168 million in incentives for industry to switch to cleaner technologies or adopt more energy-efficient practices
- $107 million for cleaner transportation choices, including $90 million for zero-emission cars and trucks
- $58 million for greener buildings and more energy-efficient homes
- $3 million to implement and monitor progress of B.C.’s climate action plan
- $1 million for waste diversion and composting
- $299 million over three years has been set aside to invest in new programs associated with Phase 1 of the CleanBC plan, which aims to get three-quarters of the way toward B.C.’s 2030 carbon emissions target. Phase 2 of the CleanBC plan will be developed over the coming year.
- The B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Strategy’s budget increases by approximately 35 per cent from last year.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Theresa Beer, 778-874-3396, email@example.com