BCBC's submission to the Provincial Carbon Tax Review
In the 2012 budget, the Provincial Ministry of Finance announced a review of the carbon tax and its impact on British Columbia's competitiveness. The attached publication was prepared by Jock Finlayson and his policy team at the Business Council.
While most Business Council member agree with the concept that society should put a "price" on carbon activities that are deemed harmful to the environment, the challenge is translating this principle into sound policy that will not impose excessive or needless costs on citizens, or businesses in a competitive context.
With the current price on carbon at $30/tonne, British Columbia has become isolated in North America, with the highest price for carbon of any jurisdiction. Furthermore, BC has many energy intensive industries that are exposed to competition from companies in other jurisdictions that have no or little carbon tax.
The Business Council's submission reviews the history of the climate change agenda in BC, focusing on the carbon pricing issue and reviewing in detail the potential economic impacts going forward. The submission concludes with seven recommendations to government:
- To conduct a comprehensive review of climate change programs
- To freeze the carbon tax, maintain the base and consider reducing the tax
- To maintain the revenue neutrality provision and develop clear policy for distributing the tax benefits
- To work toward a pan-Canadian approach to carbon pricing and climate policy
- To ensure BC's carbon tax is factored into the federal government's sectoral regulatory approach
- To review Albera's GHG technology fund
- To put into place a policy for Energy Intensive/Trade Exposed Industries for the 2013/14 budget