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BC’s carbon tax leads the way on Canadian climate policy

Sustainable Prosperity, a think tank based at the University of Ottawa, has rated British Columbia’s carbon tax the most effective climate policy of its kind in Canada.

The group’s findings, which slammed the BC NDP’s alternative to the current carbon tax policy as the weakest solution in Canada, also acknowledge that the BC government must take further steps in order to achieve eight key principals it has identified that are key to making carbon pricing effective in fighting climate change.

According to Sustainable Prosperity, a fully effective carbon pricing plan must be comprehensive, nation-wide, simple and readily implemented, transparent and accountable, complemented by other measures, environmentally effective, ultimately comparable to carbon prices in other countries, and predictable but adaptable.

BC’s plan fell short in two areas by the findings’ standards: the policy lacks national reach, and is only environmentally effective in the medium turn. But it’s a start, and a good one at that! In comparison to other provinces, BC beat out second place Quebec by 22 points, with Alberta trailing in last place.

ACT’s upcoming Energy session, from September 2009-February 2010, will look at the urgent need for new standards and solutions for BC’s energy sector in light of climate change impacts and economic stresses, as the pressure to reduce emissions and the need to adapt energy generation and distribution methods to climate impacts create new opportunities as well as challenges.

The session, made possible by BC Hydro and Plutonic Power, will also emphasize the importance of partnering mitigation with adaptation strategies, and will explore the emergence and influence of a global low carbon economy.

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