VICTORIA- A coalition of more than 16 environmental groups from across British Columbia welcomed the introduction of the province's landmark carbon tax into the Legislature today.
"We came to Victoria today to show our strong support for the carbon tax," said Ian Bruce, a climate change specialist with the David Suzuki Foundation. "When it comes to action on climate change, B.C.'s decision to put a price on carbon emissions makes it a leader, and provides an exciting direction for the federal government and other provinces to follow."
Finance Minister Carole Taylor introduced the Carbon Tax Act into the Legislature this afternoon. The bill will go through a debate before it goes to a vote likely by the end of the week.
Representatives from a coalition of environmental groups, including the David Suzuki Foundation, Sierra Club BC, Pembina Institute, B.C. Sustainable Energy Association and the Wilderness Committee, were on hand at the Legislature in Victoria to show their support for the bill and to encourage MLAs to vote in favour of the carbon tax.
"The carbon tax will help spur innovation, investment and jobs in B.C.'s clean energy sector," said Cheryl Shuman, chair of the South Peace BC Sustainable Energy Association. "This could provide northern communities that have been hit hard by the effects of climate change with economic opportunities and a strong foothold in the economy of the future."
B.C. has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 33 per cent by 2020. A carbon tax is a powerful economic tool that can help meet this target. But it will need to continue increasing over time beyond 2012 and be coupled with other strong measures.
"The carbon tax is one of many solutions required to fight global warming," said Susan Howatt, director of campaigns with the Sierra Club BC. "A comprehensive climate change plan will include many other measures, including regulations to cap and reduce emissions from B.C.'s large industrial emitters as soon as possible."
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For more information, contact:
Climate change specialist, David Suzuki Foundation
Chair, South Peace Chapter BCSEA
Cell: 250-219-4546 (Dawson Creek)
Director of campaigns, Sierra Club BC
Other media contacts:
Executive director, Wilderness Committee
Acting director of B.C. energy solutions, Pembina Institute
Program manager, Wildsight
Cell: 250-423-0402 (Fernie)
West Coast Environmental Law
Executive director, SmartGrowth BC
Society Promoting Environmental Conservation
On behalf of:
BC Sustainable Energy Association, Better Environmentally Sound Transportation, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society — BC Chapter, David Suzuki Foundation, Dogwood Initiative, Ecojustice, ForestEthics, Georgia Strait Alliance, Greenpeace, Living Oceans Society, Pembina Institute, Sierra Club BC, Smart Growth BC, Society Promoting Environmental Conservation, West Coast Environmental Law, Wilderness Committee