Their latest campaign promise – the BC United Party and its leader, Kevin Falcon, say they plan on putting an end to CleanBC.
The BC NDP’s CleanBC policy agenda aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 40% below what they were in 2007 by 2030.
The policy also aims to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Falcon and his party say they don’t take any issue with fighting climate change, but they do take issue with costs associated with CleanBC.
According to the Business Council of BC, the plan will make the province’s economy $28 billion smaller in 2030 “and set prosperity back more than a decade.”
The Council said instead of growing by 20%, BC’s GDP would grow by less than 10% between 2020 and 2030 under this model, slowing average annual growth to 0.4%.
In an interview with Vista Radio, Falcon said this could cost BC up to 200,000 jobs and reduce average annual household incomes by $11,000. (A response from the NDP can be found at the bottom of this article.)
“To put that into perspective, that would be the lowest rate of economic growth we have seen in history here in British Columbia,” he said.
He also said this would disproportionately impact the north, starting with ongoing mill curtailments.
“It is going to hit the natural resource sector the worst,” Falcon said. “There is no question about it… that is where this reckless plan of the NDP’s is going to harvest most of these reductions.”
“I keep reminding folks down south that the majority of the wealth in this province is still generated outside the lower mainland. We have to make sure we do right by the parts of the province that are generating the majority of the wealth.”
You can find the full Business Council of BC report here.
Falcon said BC United would scrap CleanBC and focus on exporting as much Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) as possible, explaining “that will allow us to see meaningful emission reduction in the world by exporting LNG to China, India, Japan, Korea – countries that want to get off coal fire power which is one of the dirtiest forms of emission.”
He said the swap from coal to gas cuts emissions by 50%, “meaning that is the greatest contribution we could possibly make to helping climate change.”
“Our emissions here represent a miniscule fraction of global emissions, 0.17%,” he said. “We are saying get rid of it and focus on things we can do that can actually make things less expensive for British Columbia.”
Falcon admitted this means his party will not be aiming for that 40% goal by 2030.
“Even if we shut down every car, truck, light, and landed every plane in BC, it would be the equivalent of less than two days out of China,” he said.
When asked how big of a priority climate change is for his party, Falcon said “Frankly, we’ve got other huge problems facing us,” citing multiple issues in the healthcare system and a lack of transparency in education.
You can find more information on BC United and Kevin Falcon’s plans to scrap CleanBC here.
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman, provided My PG Now with the following statement about Falcon’s announcement:
“Kevin Falcon has proven that he’ll pander to climate deniers like John Rustad no matter what it costs people.
CleanBC is reducing emissions and creating jobs. Ripping it up would set us back and hurt our economy. The costs of climate change are too high not to act. And people are paying the price for that: BC has spent billions responding to wildfires and floods. People want to create jobs while also protecting our environment.
That’s what we’re doing. Kevin Falcon showed yesterday that he can’t be counted on to do either one.”