Environment Minister Mary Polak and Premier Christy Clark announce climate advisory committee at General Fusion

Environment Minister Mary Polak and Premier Christy Clark announce climate advisory committee at General Fusion

BC VIEWS: ‘Climate action’ charade continues

Premier Christy Clark rushed by the Justin Trudeau government to come up with a new greenhouse gas plan

The moving deadline for B.C.’s latest bold plan to control Earth’s weather with taxes has slid from March into June.

Now that Premier Christy Clark has jetted back from her latest liquefied natural gas sales trip to Korea and Japan, brace yourself for the big reveal of Climate Action 2.0, as the second stage of B.C.’s strategy has been termed.

The pending LNG industry is just one problem for this reality-challenged scheme to maintain B.C.’s self-declared global climate leadership.

Clark’s “Climate Leadership Team,” a mix of industry, academic, environmental and aboriginal representatives, was appointed a year ago to make recommendations for the next step. It concluded that B.C. isn’t going to reach its 2020 emissions reduction target, even if the government implements the team’s recommendation to resume steep increases in the carbon tax starting in 2018.

B.C.’s carbon tax and its questionable “carbon neutral government” program have not reduced the province’s greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. They’re going up, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why.

Tacking seven cents onto the price of a litre of gasoline may have had an effect at a time when fuel prices were high. That and a global recession actually did reduce B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions for a while.

Then Saudi Arabia decided to depress the world price of oil, cancelling any carbon tax effect for people driving up to the pumps in B.C. and stimulating fuel demand around the world.

Now our population and economic growth are rising again, along with carbon emissions. And LNG production and export can only add to that increase.

The urgency to create Climate Action 2.0 was so Clark could join Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on a triumphant visit to Paris last winter to work out the latest international climate deal. Trudeau then started to let his own urgent climate crisis deadline slip back.

This routine has been going on since Jean Chrétien signed Canada up for its first fantasy target in Kyoto, Japan almost 20 years ago. And the prospects for Paris don’t look much different.

Don’t take my word for it. Nicholas Rivers, Canada Research Chair in Climate and Energy Policy at the University of Ottawa, wrote last week of the Paris deal: “These targets essentially require that developed countries such as Canada completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or shortly after.”

“Completely eliminate.” Not only does that mean an end to the oil and gas industry, it means no more air travel, unless somebody comes up with a battery-powered airliner pretty soon.

Note that Rivers is describing the actions expected of developed countries. China has agreed that its steeply rising greenhouse gases will level off “around 2030,” according to the pathetically one-sided deal negotiated by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2014.

Trudeau has decided that provinces must find their own path to a carbon-free Utopia. Alberta has moved ahead with its own carbon tax, loaded onto the energy industry in the midst of a collapse. Its main effect will likely be to send the Alberta NDP back to the opposition benches.

Ontario is considering a ban on coal for power and natural gas for home heating, plus huge subsidies for electric cars. This should continue the upward spiral of electricity prices in that hapless, mismanaged province, which has already seen runaway subsidies to wind power and cancellation of gas-fired power plants.

Here in pre-election B.C., take everything you hear about healing the planet with a grain of salt.

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press. Email: tfletcher@blackpress.ca Twitter: @tomfletcherbc

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Vancouver Island marmot is an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
VIDEO: ‘Frisky’ Vancouver Island marmots caught on camera

Marmots are catching the eye of researchers when caught on security cameras getting ‘quite frisky’

Karilyn, right, with her older sister, Sabrina. Both siblings are members of the YANA family, after being helped by the community organization on separate occasions. Photo supplied
Siblings both members of the YANA family

Comox Valley non-profit helped Geiger family on separate occasions

A second-floor balcony continues to smoulder after a fire extinguisher was used to get a small balcony fire under control at the Washington Inn Apartments. Brian Hayward, who lives on the third floor, was alerted to the fire by the smell of smoke wafting into his apartment. Photo by Brian Hayward.
Courtenay firefighters respond to balcony fire at Washington Inn Apartments

Firefighters were called out to the Washington Inn Apartments Sunday, April 17,… Continue reading

RCMP forensics investigators scour the site north of Highland School in Comox, where multiple people were stabbed during a party Saturday night, April 16. Photo by Terry Farrell
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Comox bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault near Highland Secondary

Cumberland is surrounded by trees — and logging. Its council is supporting a call to stop old-growth logging in vulnerable areas of the province such as Fairy Creek. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland backs request to save B.C.’s old-growth forests

The Comox Youth Climate Council is asking local governments to take stand

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Most Read