B.C. premier rolls out sweeping green plan
Greenhouse gas emissions to be cut 33 per cent by 2020, says Campbell
B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell laid out more details of his green plan Friday, including the promise of legislation to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 33 per cent below current levels by 2020.
During a highly anticipated speech at the Union of B.C. Municipalities annual meeting in Vancouver, Campbell saida specially appointed climate action team willlook at howthat target will be reached.
Further legislation will be passed to make B.C. the first province in Canada to legally cap greenhouse gas emissions, using an undisclosed carbon trading system, said Campbell.
All energy produced in the province will have to have a net balance of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2016, promised the premier.
Campbell also told delegates his government would introduce legislation this fall requiring all public sector organizations, including schools and Crown corporations, to be carbon neutral by 2010.
B.C. will also become the first province to adopt California's tailpipe emission standards for vehicles and the state's low-carbon fuel standards, he said.
As well, the premier promised all government travel would be greenhouse-gas neutral starting this year. Twenty-five dollars for every tonne of greenhouse gas generated by government travel will be invested in projects to offset the impact of greenhouse gases.
The premier said the provincial power company, BC Hydro, will be required to install "smart meters" that will allow all customers to better track energy use and put power they generate themselves back into the system for credit.
Transit to get money
For transit, the premier also pledged an additional $50 million this year for BC Transit to purchase new "clean diesel" buses, matching a similar pledge made earlier in the morning by federal Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day.
Campbell also renewed his government's commitment to the controversial Gateway project, including the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge in the Fraser Valley.
Despite speculation, Campbell did not make any specific promises regarding the completion of the controversial Evergreen rapid transit line, except to say it would be completed as soon as possible.
The proposed Evergreen Line would connect the communities of Coquitlam, Port Moody and Burnaby with the existing SkyTrain Line.
Campbell also has announced the province will provide $100 million to communities over 10 years for flood protection projects.
Campbell told the municipal leaders that B.C. narrowly averted a devastating flood situation this past spring.
He said the province will ask the federal government to match the funding.