The BC government is making an effort to bring the Province into the forefront of climate change sustainability. Part of this was the introduction of the Carbon Tax, and the one off household rebate for this year. Now, Premier Campbell has announced that local governments will be eligible to receive a grant equaling their carbon tax costs. but it comes at a price…

“The Climate Action Revenue Incentive program will be a new conditional grant equal to what local governments pay in the carbon tax, with only one string attached – to be eligible, communities must sign onto the Climate Action Charter and commit to becoming carbon-neutral by 2012,” said Premier Campbell. “If communities do that, and publicly report on their plan and progress in meeting that goal, they will be eligible to receive a grant equal to 100 per cent of their carbon tax costs.”

Municipalities Receive Climate Action Incentive – CivicInfo BC – News.

This is an excellent move towards encouraging municipalities to signing up to the Climate Action Charter, and moving towards acheiving it. However, it does raise the question of the return on investment for communities, the Province and ultimately humanity and the world. I recently finished the book, Cool It by Bjorn Lomborg, which takes the position that there just might be better ways for us to be spending our money when it comes to improving survival, quality of life and other factors related to Global Warming and Climate Change. The book hsan’t been popular among many environmentalists, as it attempts to discredit many of the concepts that have been sacred cows – so to speak.

Politics and Climate Change

[ad#200-left]As with many big decisions, a lot of politics is at play behind the scenes in the Climate Change debate. Unfortunately in many parts of the world action is still awaiting, as debate continues ad-nauseum.  Fortunately the BC government has taken the step of introducing the carbon tax as a means of regulating, and hopefully ofsetting, the impact the province has on the environment. I am however, looking forward to some tools for municipalities to use that will assist them in deciding how much bang for their buck they get from various innitiatives. For most municipalities, there is no one on staff looking at this problem, and in many, there is no one capable of analysing the variables involved. What funding, training, and support is the Province expecting to give as assistance to smaller municipalities that do want to be part of the solution? Is this part of the plan?  I hope so.

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.