British Columbia

Mark Jaccard, SFU professor, says province is stalling on climate change action

Mark Jaccard says a call for public participation is just a way for the provincial Liberals to delay taking action on climate change.

Mark Jaccard says government's plans to consult public is a stalling tactic.

Public input on climate change policies will be accepted until August 17. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

A Simon Fraser University professor of environmental economics says a call for public participation is just a way for the provincial Liberals to delay taking action on climate change. 

"We actually have really good policies in place and any expert would tell you:  just tighten those policies," Jaccard told Rick Cluff on The Early Edition.

This is the last week for contribution of ideas and feedback for the government's Climate Leadership Plan via an online survey. This comes after a discussion paper was released by the ministry last month.

"We want to hear from British Columbians as to the priorities that they hold in terms of our actions to make sure that our climate is one that will be healthy and sustainable for our children and our grandchildren to come," Environment Minister, Mary Polak said at a press conference last month.

Jaccard says instead of asking the public what kind of policies there should be, the government should look to experts around the world who already know the solutions.

That is the reason he declined to be on the climate action committee that was formed by Christy Clark back in May.

"I respect the people who got involved in the process. In the case of BC, where we already have the policies in place, it is important for people like to me not to give credit to this process," Jaccard says.

What can be done

Cap and trade

In order to act on climate policy, Jaccard says that British Columbia should look to Quebec, California and Ontario who already have cap and trade systems that would be easy to mimic.

Vehicle emissions standards

California's emissions standards for vehicles would be a great way to encourage people to drive electric or hybrid cars and by enacting policy, those who sell vehicles would begin to offer zero and low emission options.

"You need public policy to drive that. In a time of low oil prices, people aren't going to buy those kind of vehicles," he says.

LNG

Jaccard says that the government should not allow LNG projects to go ahead unless they do not increase emissions.

The government has said that going ahead with proposed natural gas exports will contribute to an overall decrease in emissions because countries such as China will adopt the use of gas 

Jaccard disagrees with this stance.

"It's kind of Orwellian presentation," he says."'Let's increase emissions in order to decrease emissions.'"

To hear the full interview, click: SFU professor disagrees with public consultation on climate change

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