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Report calls for more transit funding and a levy on carbon emissions to protect the climate

VANCOUVER— British Columbia's next provincial budget should include major new investments in public transit and a levy on harmful carbon pollution, says a David Suzuki Foundation report submitted to the province's budget consultation process today.

"We'd like the next budget to be a green budget," said Ian Bruce, a climate change specialist with the David Suzuki Foundation. "Premier Gordon Campbell has said he wants to make B.C. a leader in public transit and cut the province's greenhouse gas emissions so we've outlined several ways he can do just that."

One major barrier impeding adequate and reliable public transit service in B.C. is that there are no dedicated long-term provincial funding commitments for transit infrastructure and operating costs. The Foundation recommends that B.C. annually allocate a fixed portion of B.C.'s transportation budget to transit by shifting spending from highways. The Foundation also recommends B.C. contribute a substantial portion of provincial gas-tax revenue to transit.

"The majority of B.C.'s harmful greenhouse gas emissions come from road transportation," said Mr. Bruce. "Providing a stable, long-term investment in transit will help take cars off the road and cut greenhouse gas emissions."

The Foundation also recommends that B.C. establish a price for greenhouse gas emissions of at least $30 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted into our atmosphere by 2009.

Mr. Bruce explained this approach would address one of the fundamental problems fuelling global warming — that the atmosphere is treated as a free dumping ground for harmful emissions.

The Foundation recommends that the revenue generated from this policy be reinvested in activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

"By shifting responsibility and the true costs back to polluters for their share of emissions, B.C. can effectively reduce global warming while stimulating new jobs and investment in the clean energy sector," said Mr. Bruce.

The David Suzuki Foundation's full submission to B.C.'s budget consultation process can be found online at:

For more information, contact:
Ian Bruce
Climate Change Specialist
David Suzuki Foundation
604-732-4228, ext. 275 or 604-306-5095 (cell)

Sarah Marchildon
Communications Specialist
David Suzuki Foundation
604-732-4228, ext. 237

October 18, 2007

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