Kamloops This Week
Environment advocates call for action from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a climate change rally on Nov. 29.
Kamloops North-Thompson MLA and B.C. Liberal environment critic Peter Milobar says the NDP’s Clean BC plan lacks details on costing, incentives and the 25 per cent of emissions reduction needed to meet the province’s climate action targets by 2030.
“That missing 25 per cent is going to be the real contentious issues and items and very costly items,” Milobar said.
“We have no detail on that and, conveniently, we’ll have no detail on that until after the next general election, according to the timelines.”
The NDP’s plan calls for net-zero energy-ready new buildings by 2032, zero-emission new vehicles by 2040 and other measures to reach three-quarters of B.C.’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030.
Milobar wondered why critical details were not included, noting the government worked on the plan for almost 18 months.
“Unfortunately, what we got yesterday was a great exercise in marketing,” Milobar said of Wednesday’s announcement.
Milobar also questioned the role of B.C.’s future LNG industry in the plan and pointed to Green Leader Andrew Weaver’s flip-flopping on the issue.
“I question two months ago, how we have Mr. Weaver saying it will be impossible to have a plan including LNG,” Milobar said.
A $40-billion LNG project has been approved in Northern B.C., with construction anticipated soon.
Weaver, however, told reporters this week that he does not believe that project will ever be built.
Milobar believes most people are hoping the “ideals” of the Clean BC plan come to fruition.
“And that’s understandable,” he said.
“It would definitely have a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”
B.C. has failed to reach its climate goals in the past and the City of Kamloops is not likely to reach goals set out for 2020.
Milobar maintained there is merit in making climate action plans, despite the fact they seem to fall short time and time again.
“I think there is. When I was mayor, we started to build and implement the sustainability plan,” he said.
“It was one of the first ones in the province for a municipality to do. You know, did we meet the targets? No, we fell short and now it’s being re-looked at and revamped and new targets being set. You know, one could argue, if we didn’t have that document, though, would we have made the gains we did make, even though we fell short of the target?
“And I think that’s what the NDP are going to discover as they move through this process. These targets are a great ideal, but the theoretical, when it meets the real world, starts to have some conflict.”
Milobar said it will be interesting to see how the plan unfolds.
“Typically when dollars start to impact people, that’s when you start to get some resistance,” he said.
“I think most people are on board with the concepts of this plan. The jury’s out until February, March, when the budget gets presented and people start to see who and how it’s going to be paid for. Opinion starts to change in a hurry.”