Reality Check: Premier Clark is all talk, no action on climate change

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solar_panelsVICTORIA – Despite what Premier Clark would like people to think, under her leadership the B.C. Liberal government has abandoned action to combat climate change. That’s not surprising when she leads a B.C. Liberal caucus that isn’t united on whether climate change is even real.

Here are just a few examples of how the Liberal government under Premier Clark have failed on climate change.

  • Brought in a Liquefied Natural Gas emissions bill that exempts 70 per cent of climate changing emissions from being regulated or even calculated. New Democrats attempted to amend the bill to cover all emissions from LNG, but the amendment was voted down by Premier Clark’s B.C. Liberals.
  • Despite bragging about the carbon tax brought in by her predecessor, Premier Clark froze it for five years, and the money it brings in doesn’t even go to emission reduction programs or transit.
  • Instead of supporting critically important transit infrastructure in the lower mainland, Premier Clark is forcing lower mainland communities to have a referendum on whether or not to improve transit. Meanwhile, the B.C. Liberals have been charging ahead with infrastructure for single occupancy vehicles without asking mayors to pay for it, and without forcing a referendum.
  • Gutted the popular and effective LiveSmart program. The program – run by utilities – that replaced it doesn’t require home energy assessments, so there is no way of measuring whether people getting grants for home renovations are actually reducing their emissions.
  • Premier Clark abandoned the Western Climate Initiative and rescinded legislation that would allow the province to move forward on a cap and trade program like other Canadian provinces are doing.

Quote from Spencer Chandra Herbert, New Democrat spokesperson on the environment:

“We’re nowhere near being able to meet our legislated greenhouse gas reduction targets and have no plan on how to get there. Premier Clark needs to do more than take credit for the work done by a former premier if we are going to do our part to tackle climate change.”