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B.C.'s carbon tax, which takes effect July 1, has many British Columbians talking, but the debate has also stirred up a lot of confusion. To help clear the air, a coalition of environmental groups today released a "Reality Check" fact sheet on the top five misconceptions about the tax.

"We want all British Columbians to work together to solve the problem of global warming, and we believe a carbon tax can provide the signal for all of us to shift to cleaner energy and greener practices," said Ian Bruce, a climate change specialist with the David Suzuki Foundation.

"It's great that there's so much debate about the carbon tax and its role in reducing global warming, but we want to make sure the debate is based on fact and not misinformation," said Andrea Reimer, executive director of the Wilderness Committee.

"Reality Check" addresses the top five misconceptions about the B.C. carbon tax, including:

  • Myth 1 — The B.C. carbon tax won't reduce emissions.
  • Myth 2 — Big industry is left off the hook.
  • Myth 3 — B.C.'s carbon tax is a "tax grab" or additional tax.
  • Myth 4 — B.C.'s carbon tax will hit consumers who are already reeling from high international oil prices.
  • Myth 5 — B.C. has introduced a "gas tax".

While misconceptions have grabbed many of the headlines, important discussions about the solutions to global warming need to occur if B.C. is going to achieve a greener, brighter future.

"We urge all British Columbians to focus on solutions to the serious problem of global warming," said Marc Lee, senior economist for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. "Let's build an innovative, green economy in B.C. and tackle this problem head on."

B.C. has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020. A carbon tax is a powerful economic tool that can help get us to this target. But it will need to increase over time and must be coupled with other strong measures.

"The carbon tax is one of many solutions required to fight global warming," said Matt Horne, acting director of B.C. energy solutions, Pembina Institute. "A comprehensive climate change plan will include many other measures, including tough regulations for the energy efficiency of vehicles and homes, as well as a major scale-up of transit investments."

Download the media backgrounder Reality Check.

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For more information, contact:
Ian Bruce
Climate change specialist, David Suzuki Foundation
Cell: 604-306-5095

Matt Horne
Acting director of B.C. energy solutions, Pembina Institute
Cell: 778-235-1476

Susan Howatt
Director of campaigns, Sierra Club BC
Cell: 250-888-6267

Marc Lee
Senior Economist
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC Office
T: 604-801-5121 ×228

Andrea Reimer
Executive director, Wilderness Committee
Cell: 604-719-3920

Cheryl Shuman
Chair, South Peace Chapter BCSEA
Cell: 250-219-4546 (Dawson Creek)

On behalf of:
BC Sustainable Energy Association, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, David Suzuki Foundation, Dogwood Initiative, Georgia Strait Alliance, Pembina Institute, Sierra Club BC, West Coast Environmental Law, Wilderness Committee, Wildsight.

June 26, 2008

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