WATCH: On Monday, the NDP announced a new expert panel that will help the government achieve targets in the fight against climate change. Proponents say it will help the government stay on track, but the opposition is voicing some concern. Calvin To reports.
British Columbia’s NDP government has appointed a 22-member of environmental and industry advisors to help set and meet legislated pollution reduction targets.
Environment Minister George Heyman says he plans to introduce climate legislation next spring that aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent below 2007 levels over the next 13 years.
He says the legislation will also include targets to cut emissions from buildings and homes by 50 per cent, and 30 per cent from industry and transportation.
Former premier Gordon Campbell introduced legislation nine years ago to reduce the emissions by 33 per cent by 2020, but the former Liberal government of Christy Clark said it won’t hit that target.
The advisory committee includes representatives from local governments, unions, industry, First Nations, environmental organizations and academic researchers.
“I’m very thankful to them for agreeing to provide us with advice and provide British Columbians with the assurance that we’re listening to all sectors of British Columbia as well as being accountable for the targets and programs we put in place,” Heyman said.
Green Party leader Andrew Weaver said he was consulted regarding the committee’s creation and added that it’s a move in the right direction.
“Government is not taking another bunch of people together to write recommendations on policy,” Weaver said.
“What they’ve done is take a step back and actually put together a team that will be used as a sounding board, a high level team, in recognition that it’s the civil service that will be developing the policy.”
B.C. is set to increase its carbon tax by $5 per tonne next April, raising the tax to $35 per tonne.
With files from The Canadian Press