Media Statement – May 12, 2015
Weaver welcomes focus on climate leadership, but seriously, LNG?
For Immediate Release
Victoria, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party welcomes the government’s focus on climate leadership but is concerned that the government is putting LNG and a credibility-building exercise ahead of real action.
“The BC Government already knows what we need to do to address climate change. Academics, business leaders, First Nations and the Ministry’s own staff laid out a comprehensive plan back in 2008, and have been providing ongoing advice for years about the next steps we need to take,” said Andrew Weaver. “Now the government needs to show leadership by taking action – not by striking another expert panel to tell it what it already knows.”
Equally concerning is that while the government talks about it’s climate leadership, it has gutted its climate action initiatives to support its promises of an LNG industry. Such actions are a step backward for the province and are directly contrary to the goal of getting the province back on track to achieve our emissions reduction targets.
“While I welcome any effort to move forward on climate action, the Premier’s insistence that LNG form the centrepiece of the BC economy seriously damages our ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as our credibility as a jurisdiction that is taking climate commitments seriously.”
If the Premier is serious about climate action, here are four actions she could take right now that would make a significant difference:
1. Re-start the annual increase of the carbon levy by $5 per tonne (up to a total of $50/tonne) and use the additional revenue generated from these further increases to help fund infrastructure and public transit investments that foster more sustainable communities, while reducing GHG emissions.
2. Update the BC building codes and infrastructure standards to allow for, and promote, the electrification of our vehicular fleet.
3. Reinstate the original Clean Energy Act. The purpose of the act was to require 93% of energy be produced from zero-emitting sources. It was changed in 2012 to deem natural gas a “clean” source of energy in order to accommodate the proposed LNG industry, despite the fact the burning natural gas releases GHG emissions.
4. Reinvigorate BC’s clean tech sector by having BC Hydro issue regular calls for power. Modify BC Hydro’s mandate to encourage the development of a geothermal capacity in BC. Reinstate the retail access program so that industry can partner with the cleantech sector to produce renewable energy for their use. Finally, BC Hydro’s mandate could further be modified to allow it to facilitate deals that would attract businesses who prioritize using renewable energy to BC, while ensuring that our base power can supply clean electricity for the increased demand we will face as a province.
Press Secretary – Andrew Weaver MLA
Cell: 250 216 3382
Victoria BC V8V 1X4