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VANCOUVER — April 11, 2013 The David Suzuki Foundation is asking all B.C. political parties to strengthen the carbon tax — one of North America's best environmental and economic success stories — to directly fund our most pressing environmental needs while driving a cleaner, more innovative provincial economy.
The B.C. NDP today released its fiscal plan, which will be included in its election platform. It proposes to close the carbon tax loophole that currently gives industrial polluters, like oil and gas (natural gas venting) companies, a free pass to pollute.
This is a practical and important step forward, but we need to do more, according to Ian Bruce, science and policy manager for the Foundation.
"Closing the loophole on polluters and applying the tax fairly is one part of realizing the full potential of this solution. But to truly benefit communities, our proposal also requires the tax be increased at the same rate it's been increasing since 2008. That's needed to generate up to $1 billion a year of new revenue for developing our clean technology sector, funding transit and other community solutions to climate change that improve quality of life," he said.
"We believe it's time for all parties to recognize the enormous opportunity B.C. has to lead on climate change," Bruce added. "As the financial crisis wreaked havoc worldwide, research shows the carbon tax incentive reduced B.C.'s carbon pollution while spurring innovation and growing our clean technology section by 48 per cent."
British Columbia is not alone in supporting the tax, but the province is falling behind, as other jurisdictions step in to lead the way. Quebec, California, Norway, China and Australia have all announced, introduced or strengthened carbon pricing policies within the past year.
Polling shows British Columbians support climate leadership and climate action. Last summer, more than 1,800 of about 2,000 British Columbians who submitted comments to the Carbon Tax Review asked for a strengthened and expanded carbon tax.
See more about the David Suzuki Foundation's support for a strengthened carbon tax: http://betterfuturebc.ca/nextstep
Ian Bruce, Science & Policy Manager, David Suzuki Foundation