BC Election 2017: Climate

Watershed Sentinel Editorial Staff

BC Election 2017: Our comparison of the party platforms on climate action


  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% of the province’s 2007 emissions by 2050
  • Implement the Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change
  • Maintain the carbon tax freeze at $30/tonne until 2021
  • Maintain the Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit
  • Ensure our energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries are fully protected from any potential increase in the carbon tax
  • Work with the federal government to finance upstream oil and gas electrification, reforestation, and flood mitigation programs
  • $40 million for the Clean Energy Vehicle program


  • Meet 2050 greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 80 per cent below 2007 levels and new legislated 2030 reduction target of 40 per cent below 2007 levels
  • Phase in the federally mandated $50/tonne carbon price by 2022 over three years, starting in 2020
  • New climate action rebate cheque for low and middle income families, so 80% of households would receive the rebate cheque each year in advance, when carbon tax goes up
  • Establish separate sectoral reduction plans for transportation (30 per cent reduction by 2030), industry (30 per cent reduction by 2030), and buildings and homes (50 per cent reduction by 2030)
  • Invest in public transit, energy efficiency, clean technology, and “major initiatives that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels”
  • Renew the Climate Leadership panel and work towards implementing their recommendations
  • Invest in reforestation, build new rapid transit solutions, [under] a comprehensive clean energy program called PowerBC
  • Re-invigorate the Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund to boost investments in new energy technologies, climate change solutions, and community-focused energy projects, especially in rural, northern and First Nations communities


  • 40% reduction below 2007 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 2007 levels by 2050
  • Increase the carbon tax by $10 [per tonne] per year for four years to $70, starting January 2018
  • Invest carbon tax to facilitate the low carbon economy
  • Extend the carbon tax to fugitive and vented emissions, from $10 per tonne rising to $50 per tonne by 2021
  • Starting on January 1, 2020, apply the fugitive rate for the carbon tax, $36 per tonne, to forest slash pile burning
  • Establish an emissions reduction target for carbon neutral government and allow public sector agencies to invest in internal emissions reductions

        Behaviour Change

  • Public information regarding ways and costs to reduce carbon emissions
  • Promote choices with a lower carbon footprint and provide incentives for their adoption
  • Introduce a Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate to ensure a growing supply of electric vehicles in B.C.; with incentives of distance-based insurance; and transferable licence plates, where the second vehicle is a zero emissions vehicle; Implement congestion and road pricing policies, and other initiatives: tolls for gasoline or diesel vehicles; free parking for electric vehicles; half price ferry fares for electric vehicles;  Expand the network of charging facilities to enable long distance travel
  • Introduce Energy Performance Certification for residential properties
  • Facilitate modal switching with initiatives: Greater investment, and more predictable funding for public transportation; affordable public transit fares and frequent service; investment in walking and biking infrastructure; Facilitate ride sharing, and car sharing; charging and safe storage facilities for electric bicycles; Road configurations and commuter routes that are friendly for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.


  • Require commercial and industrial operators to ensure the efficient operation of equipment and vehicles
  • Introduce mandatory emissions testing for heavy-duty and commercial vehicles
  • Introduce maintenance requirements for pipelines and enhance compliance and enforcement
  • Require the adoption of international efficiency standards
  • Ensure that new buildings are energy efficient; and, that the upfront cost of an energy efficiency upgrade does not form a barrier to retrofits
  • Work with local governments to require that GHG emissions from new construction and major renovations are minimized in a manner that takes account of regional variations
  • Provide funding for independent energy efficiency audits of private dwellings,
  • Facilitate the amortisation of the costs of renovations that reduce the GHG footprint of a home, through mechanisms such as on-bill financing, and repayment through property taxes
  • Implement a home retrofit program
  • Introduce standards for commercial building GHG emissions
  • Establish an incentive program for retrofits of commercial buildings
  • Promote efficient community design by enhancing requirements for integrated regional planning, and the consideration of the cumulative impacts on GHG emissions of regional and local government plans: Require community and regional urban containment areas; Require a full analysis of GHG implications and mitigation strategies in development applications; Require Official Community Plans to include a GHG emissions reductions plan; Promote district heating initiatives
  • Linked initiatives that support efficient community design
  • A new 10-year transportation plan focused on affordable, clean transportation for British Columbians
  • $80 million over four years in green transportation infrastructure, building efficiency initiatives, and other qualifying initiatives

        Low Carbon Fuels And Materials

  • C. Hydro to optimise support for clean energy development, including grid storage for community or privately generated power
  • Work with neighbouring jurisdictions to phase out thermal electricity generation
  • Integrate the electrical grid, which requires the construction of a transmission line to Alberta to export excess green power from B.C. to back out coal fired generation in Alberta
  • Require Fuel switching from fossil fuels to electricity to decrease emissions in the residential, commercial and manufacturing sectors
  • Initiatives for switching to biofuels and renewables such as requiring large emitters to submit GHG mitigation plans and phasing out the use of diesel and gasoline powered urban delivery vehicles
  • Invest $120 million over four years for partnerships with industry, academic institutions and other levels of government to support research, development and commercialization of climate friendly technologies and implement innovative ways to achieve desired environmental outcomes


  • Implement a forest carbon strategy to take full advantage of the opportunities created by forest sinks
  • Carbon can also be sequestered in harvested wood products such as buildings, furniture and other manufactured products and paper. Harvested wood products play three important roles climate change mitigation: storage of carbon, a substitute for more energy-intensive materials, and a renewable material for energy generation (as discussed in the section on low carbon fuels)
  • $29 million over four years to enhance the scientific understanding of the effects of climate change in B.C.; and, to support forest carbon management initiatives

Read Bill Henderson’s evaluation of these platforms here

View and download the entire three-part document here:

BC Election 2017 Platform Comparison – Environment

BC Election 2017 Platform Comparison: Social Justice

Green Jobs-Just Transition

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