B.C.’s 2022 budget a reminder that climate action and affordability go hand in hand
VICTORIA — Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the B.C. government’s Budget 2022:
“British Columbians have it tough these days. They’re facing a climate crisis while grappling with rising unaffordability. B.C.’s Budget 2022 addresses these twin challenges by financially helping British Columbians acquire cleaner cars—both new and used—less wasteful heating systems, and more energy efficient homes.
“We’re also pleased to see additional dollars going toward growing clean industries in B.C., but the devil will be in the details—namely, ensuring this money goes toward clean projects and industries that will be growing beyond 2040.
“An additional $1.2 billion set aside for CleanBC measures will help B.C. retain its position as a relative climate leader among provinces. The budget rightly focuses on high-emitting sectors such as transportation and buildings, though there remains a concerning lack of detail regarding how B.C. will reduce its oil and gas sector emissions.
“Budget 2022 stood out in another way: adaptation funding. That is, money to fund how we deal with the impacts of climate change, from making our coasts and forests more resilient when faced with climate-change-driven disasters to covering the costs of such tragic events when they happen.
“Indeed, as climate change and high costs are both top of mind, it’s worth noting that nearly $1.6 billion of this budget was set aside to help pay the bill for last year’s flood. New analysis found B.C.’s flood was likely the most costly disaster in Canadian history, while another study concluded that the flood was at least twice as likely as a result of climate change.
“At the end of the day, climate action and affordability go hand in hand.”
- Transportation is B.C.’s biggest source of carbon emissions, making up 39% of the province’s total in 2019, followed by buildings and communities (21%), industry (21%) and oil and gas (19%).
- 9.4% of new cars sold in B.C. in 2020 were electric, meaning B.C. has almost already met its 2025 zero-emission vehicle sales target of 10%.
- B.C.’s target requiring that 90% of passenger vehicle sales be zero-emission in 2030 en route to 100% by 2035 is among the most ambitious in North America.
- A recent Globe and Mail analysis found that B.C.’s floods were likely the most-costly disaster in Canadian history.
- The recent atmospheric river event in B.C., which displaced 15,000 people and killed at least five, was made at least twice as likely due to climate change, according to a study from Environment Canada and Oxford University.