By Carole James
Over the next decade and beyond, we must grow the use of clean and renewable energy in how we get around, heat our homes, and fuel our industry – making things better and more affordable for people. Our government has put a priority on reducing climate pollution which is why Budget 2019 invests $902 million over three years in CleanBC – the largest investment in climate action in B.C.’s history.
The CleanBC plan was developed as a pathway to achieve the Province’s legislated climate targets of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 percent by the year 2030, based on 2007 levels. In the wake of unprecedented wildfires and floods, it’s imperative that we change how we live, work and commute. With CleanBC, we are rising to address the challenge of climate change by supporting a cleaner, more sustainable path forward for all British Columbians.
Making cleaner energy more affordable
We know making the switch to green alternatives needs to be affordable, which is why our government is helping people with the upfront costs of accessing cleaner transportation options.
By 2040, every new car sold in B.C. will be a zero-emission vehicle. Government is helping people afford cleaner cars and save money on fuel with incentive programs, while also making it easier to charge or fuel them. The Province is speeding up the switch to cleaner fuels with further reductions to the carbon intensity of transportation fuels.
We’re investing in home improvements supports, giving people more affordable choices to save energy over the long run. CleanBC will save families money on retrofit costs including:
Up to $2,000 to replace a fossil fuel heating system with an electric air-source heat pump
Up to $1,000 for better insulated windows and doors
Up to $700 toward a higher efficiency natural gas furnace
We’ve taken action to ensure every new building constructed in B.C. is “net-zero energy ready” by 2032. Government is requiring new buildings to be more efficient, and ramping up funding for renovations and energy retrofits to existing homes and offices, including $400 million to support retrofits and upgrades for B.C.’s stock of publicly funded housing.
We’re also aiming to divert 95 percent of all organic waste from landfills by 2030. We know all sectors needs to do their part and under CleanBC we’re helping communities implement sustainable systems set to capture 75 percent of landfill gas, and in some cases convert waste into cleaner sources of energy. From industry to agriculture and even those in their homes, we’re working to waste less and make better use of it.
New opportunities from innovation
These initiatives won’t just protect our environment and clean our air – they will help create new economic opportunities for people and spur innovation to grow our world–leading technology and clean energy sectors. The low-carbon economy we’re building together is set to bring more jobs and opportunities to rural and remote B.C., Indigenous communities, and growing urban centres.
We’re committed to giving people the skills they need to thrive in a low-carbon economy. With a CleanBC labour readiness plan underway, we’re taking a proactive approach to ensure workers have the education and training they need to benefit under our innovative plan.
Earlier this spring, citizens were engaged in online discussions and telephone town halls to share their ideas and questions. Your input on initiatives that get us to our climate goals helps ensure that future actions reflect the diverse needs and priorities of British Columbians. We’re looking at ways we can update and expand the strategy on the pathway to a cleaner future and hope you take advantage of future opportunities to provide feedback.
CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced, and sustainable future. We will need to work together to protect what we care about. I for one am excited about the possibilities and the progress we can make together, and I hope you are too. For more information on our plan, please visit https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca.
MLA, Victoria-Beacon Hill
1084 Fort Street, Victoria, BC V8V 3K4
Phone: 250 952-4211