Back in 2007 and 2008, British Columbia introduced a slate of climate policies that today remain the envy of the world. The list included a revenue neutral carbon tax, a ban on unfettered coal power, and a clean electricity standard that today ensures the electricity grid will remain 93 percent clean or renewable.
The policies did the job they were designed for. Thanks to the carbon tax, carbon pollution fell along with income taxes, and the economy grew.
Well, those were the days.
Since then, with a few exceptions, it’s mostly been “climate crickets” in Victoria. In 2013, as part of an election pledge, the government froze the carbon tax at $30 per tonne for five years. Around the same time, it announced it would create a new carbon-intensive liquefied natural gas industry, and excused that sector from its clean-electricity standard.
Also, as the province’s population and economy have grown, emissions have once again risen.
Fortunately, the provincial government is moving climate leadership back to the front burner. Earlier this year, it began work on a new Climate Leadership Plan that would introduce and strengthen policies to meet its climate targets.
The province is inviting British Columbians to share their two cents. If you’ve been concerned with wildfires and threats to our coastal ecosystems, food price spikes and other climate impacts, THIS IS THE TIME TO SPEAK UP!
Last week we launched YesImReady.ca—a new site intended to make it easy for British Columbians to contact provincial leaders working on the Climate Leadership Plan. With a few clicks, visitors can send leaders a message that they are ready for climate solutions including:
- Efficient green buildings
- An increased carbon tax
- Better public transit
- Better access to cleaner vehicles, and
- Jobs in the clean-energy economy
The signs of climate change are all around us, but so are solutions like those above. It’s time to move climate leadership back to the front burner—tell the province you’re ready for climate action and a clean, prosperous economy.
The Climate Leadership Plan will come out early next year. But our legislators need to hear right now, from as many people as possible, from all across the province.
Take a moment right now: Head over to YesImReady.ca and let the government know you are ready for renewed climate action. Then do the same with your friends and family. If you want leadership, the truth is, you need to ask for it.