LETTER: Your chance for input on climate policy

Readers applaud government's online survey and point out its shortcomings.

This summer’s forest fires have brought the reality of climate change to the forefront of British Columbians’ concerns. You now have the opportunity to influence our province’s future policies on addressing climate change and reducing our collective greenhouse gas emissions.

Last month the BC Government presented their “Climate Leadership Plan – Discussion Paper,” and the public input period ends Aug. 17. We encourage everyone to complete the online survey.

While we applaud the leadership team for requesting the public’s input, our local Citizens’ Climate Lobby chapter is concerned the proposed goals are too vague and do not outline a clear process as to how these actions will occur, how they will be monitored, and what remedies would be in place to enforce new policies.

Another concern is that BC’s very successful carbon tax, instituted in 2008, has been frozen for five years. To continue to be effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this tax needs to increase as it was intended. Using a more transparent approach, like carbon fee and dividend, would protect lower and middle income families, while encouraging the innovation needed in our transition to a low carbon economy.

The government’s current focus on developing a new carbon-based energy infrastructure (LNG) is contrary to the long term goals of meeting BC’s greenhouse gas targets. The province will be hard pressed to meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Developing new carbon energy projects will make that task even more difficult.

We will be submitting a formal response with our concerns. We encourage other organizations to do so, too. At this critical time in history, we must all be actively involved in envisioning the future that we want.

Ron Robinson, Mike Geisler, Laura Sacks

Nelson-West Kootenay Chapter

Citizens’ Climate Lobby