B.C. carbon tax gets international attention

Premier Christy Clark invited to World Bank meeting where finance ministers seek strategies for Paris climate talks

Premier Christy Clark

Premier Christy Clark met Friday with the finance ministers of China, India, the U.S. and other G20 countries to tell them about the success of B.C.’s carbon tax on fuels.

Clark said in a phone interview from Washington D.C. she was invited there by the World Bank, whose president Jim Yong Kim co-chaired the meeting along with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Countries around the world are looking for greenhouse gas reduction strategies before the next UN climate conference in Paris next December, and Clark said there was keen interest in B.C.’s experience.

B.C.’s carbon tax was introduced in 2008, and is currently set at $30 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions. That translates to about seven cents a litre on gasoline and similar taxes on coal, natural gas and other fuels.

“We’ve created one of the broadest-based carbon taxes in the world and used 100 per cent of the tax to reduce corporate, small business, and individual income taxes, and that’s resulted in robust economic growth compared to the rest of the country,” Clark said.

Clark put a five-year freeze on the carbon tax after winning the B.C. Liberal leadership, and the government has wound up its carbon offset purchasing office and withdrawn from a group of U.S. states working on a regional carbon trading plan.

Clark said B.C. will soon appoint a panel of “thought leaders” to see where the province can make further gains in greenhouse gas reduction. One of those leaders who is unlikely to be included is Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver, who has criticized Clark for reversing climate policy progress made under former premier Gordon Campbell.

Weaver and NDP leader John Horgan say the province’s decision to ease emissions rules for liquefied natural gas production is a big step backward.

The Green Party has campaigned to increase the carbon tax to $50 a tonne immediately, and keep raising it to promote alternatives to carbon fuels. The NDP has called for carbon tax revenues to be directed to transit and building improvements instead of returning it as tax cuts.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pacific Coastal won’t open until community is ready

The company has suspended operations until further notice

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man with Alberta plates gets car keyed and aggressive note

Some out-of-province people are finding hostile reception due to COVID-19 worries

Most Read