B.C.’s leadership on climate change has made us more economically competitive. As the last global financial crisis wreaked havoc on economies worldwide, at home our carbon tax spurred innovation and clean technology sector growth to more than 200 companies. It saw sales projected for $2.5 billion in 2011 with a 48 per cent growth between 2008 and 2010. According to KPMG, 78 per cent of these sales are exports. These clean-technology innovations throughout the province have diversified our economy while making us a leader in climate change solutions that give us cleaner air, energy-efficient homes and businesses, and healthier communities.
The BC Liberal Party likely believes there are votes to be gained in their cynical and cowardly retreat from climate leadership. But their argument that the carbon tax is hurting BC’s economic competitiveness is just dishonest. A carbon tax may reduce the record profits of the greedy carbon polluters who donate to the party (and then expect to be served by it), but underpricing carbon harms our economy and everyone you know.
According to the anti-business radicals at KPMG, BC’s cleaner technology sector employs more people than forestry, mining and the oil and gas sectors combined. It also contributes more to provincial GDP than any of the traditional resource-based sectors.
Unpriced carbon is a subsidy for unethical businesses that damage and endanger our communities without creating much economic value.
Local municipalities, including the City of Vancouver, must urgently act to protect citizens and our environment from reckless plans to make Port Metro Vancouver the largest coal export terminal in North America.
I share the concerns about expanding coal exports through our region expressed by Mayor Gregor Robertson; elected officials and city staff in Delta, Surrey, White Rock, and New Westminster; and public health authorities and organizations from across the region. Increasing coal export capacity in our region and excusing the public health impacts of coal transport must be responsibly opposed by the City of Vancouver and I strongly urge you to support the coal export expansion motion at City Council on March 12, 2013.
The City of Vancouver must continuously confront local contributions to the rapid heating of our atmosphere, a crisis driven by the over-use of dangerous fossil fuels like coal. The public health impacts of the transportation, import and re-export of coal through our regional port network are extremely worrying and we must acknowledge the warnings from public health experts. No less, the local economic benefits paraded by coal export proponents are deadly false. The future of Vancouver’s economy is in cleaner energy, technology, services, resource management and food — not energy and materials systems from the 19th century. And if we fail to prevent runaway global warming — as looks increasingly likely — we must remember that there are “no jobs on a dead planet”.
This quote, from twenty year-old Alli Welton, has really stuck with me the last few days:
[B]efore, I’d always been thinking of climate activism primarily as solidarity, and helping reduce inequality in the world, which is something I’ve cared about ever since I was a kid, growing up privileged in a really poor town. But I guess, recently, it’s become more of a self-preservation thing…
As youth, we don’t have a voice in this fight… there’s no way that I can climb the government ladder and end up in a position of enough political power to save myself now. I’m never going to get that chance. And there are kids who are being born today, or born 10 years ago, they’re not really going to get that chance either, if we don’t start winning in the next couple of years.
Detroit city officials, who have 10 days to seek reconsideration from the governor before a state board formally appoints a manager as early as this month, objected strenuously. Under a much-debated state law, an appointed manager would ultimately hold powers to cut city spending, change contracts with labor unions, merge or eliminate city departments, urge the sale of city assets and even, if all else failed, recommend bankruptcy proceedings. In an election year for mayor and the City Council, many candidates, incumbents and community leaders denounced the move as an affront to democracy and a state takeover, and called for legal action.
The Globe and Mail has the story: A World Bank letter offers “the first detailed glimpse of the allegations against SNC in Bangladesh, one of four countries where the blue-chip Montreal company is being investigated on suspicion of using bribery to win contracts.”