BC’S CARBON POLICY: AT A
School of Public Policy, Simon Fraser University
North American Climate Policy Forum
University of Ottawa
22-23 June 2016
BC Carbon Policy 1.0
• Centrepiece = carbon tax set initially at $10/tonne CO2e
effective July 1, 2008, rising $5/tonne/year to 2012
• Tax frozen 2012 to 2017
• Covers c. 70% GHGs in BC
• Approx $1.2 billion annual revenue is returned in the form
of CIT & PIT cuts, payments to low income/rural
households, grab bag of tax credits (revenue negative)
• Complementary policy = carbon neutral public sector, low
carbon fuel standard, no coal generation, etc.
• Nic Rivers will present the impacts of the tax
BC’s Challenge: Rising Emissions
Source: BC Climate Leadership Team (2015) Recommendations to Government.
Climate Leadership Team: Climate Policy 2.0?
• Created by Premier Clark June 2015 with 17 members: First
Nation chiefs, industry, ENGOs, academics, mayors, provincial
• Report with 32 recommendations to Cabinet in November 2015
– a multi-sectoral approach setting a new emission target of
40% reduction below 2007 by 2030
• Core recommendation: 2017 start raising the carbon tax by
• Complementary policies:
• Reduce methane from NG by 40% over next 5 years – voluntary
actions to regs to carbon tax
• Reduce emissions from buildings by 50% by 2030
• Set a 2030 target for low carbon fuel standard and a new ZEV
standard, and more….see: Climate Leadership Team,
Recommendations to Government.
Why the Crossroad?
• Provincial election in May 2017 – no plan announced yet by BC Govt.
• Concerns about impact on:
• Economic growth (model: average annual growth = 2.07% with policy, 2.11% without)
• Affordability for households (HH) (CLT had PST cut by 1% + increase transfers)
• Emission-intensive-trade-exposed sectors (EITE) & leakage (CLT allocated revenues)
• Challenge: to address each of these with strong analysis and policy options especially EITE,
HH, policy coordination, political concerns
• Rising to the challenge
• Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission’s work (www.ecofiscal.ca), SP, this conference, ongoing
academic and modeling work
• Provincial policy development underway
• EITE ad hoc working group in BC
• Fed/prov working groups on climate policy
• US policy (US election ?)