VANCOUVER - How would you spend $125 million to fight climate change and secure a better future for your community?
That's the question at the core of an innovative new online engagement initiative launched this week by the David Suzuki Foundation, Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada, the Pembina Institute, and the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association. The Better Future Fund initiative (www.betterfuturefund.ca) invites B.C. residents to share their ideas on how the proceeds from an expanded carbon tax could help their communities fight global warming.
"The idea is to improve the B.C. carbon tax by fairly and responsibly generating extra revenues to invest in solutions to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, making our communities healthier and better places to live," said Ian Bruce, climate change specialist at the David Suzuki Foundation.
The Better Future Fund site uses SayZu, an award winning, made-in-B.C. data-visualization technology, to graphically illustrate—in real time—British Columbians' priorities for a better future.
An expanded carbon tax is a fiscally responsible approach that could generate much-needed revenues that could in turn help tackle our province's major pollution and traffic challenges and avoid burdening B.C.'s youth with a huge economic and environmental debt.
The benefits are many. Enhancing public transportation with additional funds helps keep vehicles off the road, decreasing traffic congestion and reducing emissions. Spending less time in the daily commuter grind means more time spent with families, as well as cleaner, healthier air.
"By directing carbon tax revenues into a Better Future Fund and investing strategically in green projects, we can better manage today's challenges and plan for tomorrow's needs at the same time," said James Glave, conversations manager, Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada.
As green technologies develop and become more commercially viable, the demand for highly skilled labour will increase. This will enhance B.C.'s economy by creating new jobs in the clean energy sector throughout the province. By receiving support to invest in green technologies, B.C. businesses will have a significant leg up on the competition.
"By working together, British Columbians, local governments and businesses can pool their resources and make a significant investment in a better future for B.C.," said Matt Horne, director of the Pembina Institute's climate change program.
The Better Future Fund web site (www.betterfuturefund.ca) invites British Columbians to participate in the provincial government's carbon tax review, which is accepting submissions until August 31, 2012.
For more information, please contact:
Ian Bruce, climate change specialist, David Suzuki Foundation: cell 604-306-5095
James Glave, conversations manager, Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada: 604-947-2200; cell 604-833-4368
Matt Horne, director, climate change, Pembina Institute: cell 778-235-1476
Guy Dauncey, executive director, B.C. Sustainable Energy Association: 250-881-1304