Green Party: Climate Change Requires “Immediate, Bold Measures”
The Green Party of BC has marked international Earth Day by highlighting its comprehensive plan to help revers global climate change and restore economic security.
“For over twenty years advanced nations around the world have priced the cost of pollution into the economy through tax shifting – to conserve by reducing energy consumption and to stimulate alternative energy sources,” said Green Party Leader Jane Sterk.
“The BC Greens Climate Change program includes energy conservation, emission targets, regulation and taxation measures, transportation reforms, increased information sharing and coordination, and adaptation strategies.”
Transport makes a large contribution to BC’s greenhouse gas emissions at 37 per cent and we need to tackle this aggressively. Greens would focus investment on the rapid development of province-wide, integrated, climate-friendly transit systems and the use of trains over trucking for moving goods,” said Sterk.
“For us to achieve the results we need to avert climate chaos we are required to re-tool our economies and challenge our own assumptions about how we organize our lives,” said Sterk. “Smart, green investments in transit and rail as well as energy conservation measures, coupled with financial and regulatory tools will enable us to achieve climate and economic stability, providing British Columbians with long-term green jobs and a healthy environment.”
Tax shifting alone will not achieve emissions reduction targets. A multifaceted approach is required, and BC Greens would:
- Introduce Feed-in-Tariffs (FITs), which in Germany have built a green energy industry employing more than 250,000 people, and are now in use in most EU countries and many other nations. They allow anyone to sell green energy to the grid, and as a result they rapidly build jobs and capacity in geothermal, solar, ocean, and wind power generation. Implement FITs and favour local generation projects and cooperative and public ownership as well as Small Power Producers (SSPs).
- Include BC Ferries’ in the GHG Reduction Targets Act.
- Renew and expand existing rail systems in BC, including the E&N on Vancouver Island, InterUrban line in the Fraser Valley, and former BC Rail lines in the interior. Implement new systems where needed, including high-speed rail linkages with the regional US rail network. Rebuild the commuter light rail in all major urbanized areas as a high priority
- Replace short-haul air trips with high-speed rail.
- Move cargo by rail to reduce the volume of trucks moving goods through Metro Vancouver.
- Implement tax policies that encourage sustainable transportation options such as telecommuting, transit, cycling, and walking.
- Apply the carbon tax to the sale of new vehicles based on GHG emissions.
- Offset carbon tax by implementing immediate reductions to payroll tax
- Actively assist people and companies with energy retrofitting, moving off grid, or contributing to the grid using clean and green powe
- Match any federal tax incentives for Canadian manufacturers of super-efficient vehicles, Plug-in Hybrid Electric and Electric Vehicles sold in BC.
- Introduce pay-as-you-go vehicle insurance.
“The steps to fix the economic and climate crises are the same: create green jobs by building green infrastructure. We need to take immediate, bold measures to restore our earth to make it safe and sustainable for our children and their children,” said Sterk. “It is the only responsible and moral course to take.”
Local Green Party candidate, Andy Morel comments, “Many people think that reducing green house gas emissions means higher taxes, all pain and no gain. Green Party initiatives demonstrate nothing could be further from the truth. Green policies are grounded in common sense and provide clear monetary incentives to individuals and businesses who make the green shift!”