Climate in the 2017 BC Election
In an earlier post we compared the BC Liberal and BC NDP Climate plans in advance of the upcoming election. At the time the BC Green Party had not released its climate plan.
Based on our review, we give it a letter grade of B+ (alongside the NDP’s B and the Liberals’ F). For both the NDP and Green plans, a lack of key details – which would be developed should the party form government – was what prevented them from achieving a higher mark.
The Green climate platform differs significantly from the other two parties in that:
- Its centrepiece is a commitment to follow the recommendations of the government’s Climate Leadership Team to increase BC’s carbon tax by $10/year starting in 2018, with the tax rising to $70/tonne by 2021. This was a key recommendation of the Leadership Team that the other parties have shied away from for political reasons.
- The plan is solely focused on climate leadership, and does not attempt to also be a job creation plan (a major feature of both the Liberal and NDP plans).
Nonetheless, much of the Green platform gives “examples” of the types of initiatives that a green government might undertake to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, rather than concrete commitments. While understandable and realistic for an opposition party, this makes it difficult to judge whether the plan will achieve its targets and prevented us from giving the platform full marks.
We have also reviewed the recently-released BC Liberal Platform for promises related to climate change. While the specific commitments are not too different from what we saw in BC’s Climate Leadership Plan, we’ve added some comments and observations to our full evaluation.
By Andrew Gage, Staff Counsel, West Coast Environmental Law Association