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

 

Just Posted

Viral video shows Sooke resident calling out illegal crab fishers

The video shows a man and woman with 12 undersized crabs in Sooke

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and MP Alistair MacGregor weigh in on fishing ban

Singh and MacGregor say improving salmon abundance is important

Victoria Curling Club wants to be part of new Crystal Pool Facility after lease renewal ends

The 66-year old club owns the building, but sits on city land

Food service workers at Victoria airport protest for second time in four months

Negotiations continue to drag on with employer Compass Group Canada, VAA refuses to engage

Firefighters rescue horse stuck in Saanich mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Baloney Meter: Will tougher penalties for gang members make Canada safer?

Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled

Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Some departments said it’s too early to provide data, others said initial numbers suggest stoned driving isn’t on the rise

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Dog psychic can help Vancouver Islanders better connect with their pets

Michele Wonnacott hosts one-day seminar in Nanaimo on Saturday, Nov. 17

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

Most Read