By Montana Burgess

Today the BC Government released its new plan, CleanBC, to tackle the Province’s carbon pollution.

In the Premier’s speech he reminded us of how Grand Forks was devastated by flooding this year and of the impacts of wildfires in our communities. This is the much-needed framework for BC to transition to our low-carbon future.

The plan addresses many of the biggest challenges in our province. It was written with clean energy leaders and non-governmental groups advising. It’s comprehensive, and while more details need to come to see how it will be implemented, it puts BC as the leading province in Canada in the struggle for survival in the wake of the climate crisis.

CleanBC puts a big focus on transiting to zero emissions vehicles to address transportation, along with more investments in public transit. There’s an emphasis on low carbon building standards for new homes and buildings, and money for retrofit programs. It aims to reduce carbon pollution by diverting organic waste from landfills.

The plan invites clean industry to have a home in BC and build BC’s economy and green jobs by training skilled workers. It will direct some carbon tax money for cleaner operations for heavy carbon polluting industries. It also recommits to raise the carbon tax incrementally, even for industry.

The new climate plan intends to get us 75% of the way to BC’s legislated 2030 carbon pollution reduction target. It acknowledges there is a gap and says we need to keep moving on policies in 2019 and not just stop with this plan. We can come together to take more action on the local level to close this gap. We can work within our communities and our towns to get started today to phase out our carbon pollution and transition to 100% renewable energy no later than 2050.

The plan says it will work will local governments to figure out next priorities in the transformation to clean energy. We can support our local governments to seize opportunities and be leaders. If we keep sending strong messages to our cities to be leaders in the transition to 100% renewable energy we can get there by taking big and bold steps right now. Because of you and your community supporting our local governments to commit to 100% renewable energy, and work with the Province on this climate plan, I have hope for BC.