Premier Gordon Campbell who is stepping down as premier but will continue as an MLA from Vancouver spent years talking about reducing the province’s GHG emissions and set the ambitious goal of reducing GHG emissions by 33% by 2020. He also introduced the carbon tax and promoted the failed hydrogen highway.
The carbon tax has proven to be useless at reducing carbon emissions as data shows they are still increasing, the hydrogen highway has also proven a failure as apart from a few million dollar test vehicles and 20 $4 million dollar fuel cell buses we have nothing to show for it.
BC has the lowest percentage of alternative energy investment of any province in the country over the last 5 years and we are actually further from meeting the 2020 GHG reduction quota now than when the promise was made back in February 2007. Four years of talk, while GHG emissions continued to increase and when the latest shale gas plants are completed in 2012 emissions will then be about 5% higher than in 2007.
Will the next Liberal leader continue the same all talk no action policy or will they learn something from the success of Ontario’s very different approach to alternative energy development?
In Ontario the emphasis is on job creation not GHG reduction although the creation of more renewable energy and the incentives for electric car purchases are expected to have a significant effect on the province’s emissions by 2020.
Ontario introduced a substantial FIT program modelled on the successful FIT program first introduced in Germany a decade ago and now being adopted by countries around the world making it the proven model for developing alternative energy and green jobs.
In little more than 1 year Ontario attracted more than $ 9 billion dollars of wind, solar and bio-energy investment. These investments are expected to create more than 50,000 new jobs.
The 2 year BC Hydro power call generated just 24 projects and about $2 billion in investment with no factories and few new permanent jobs.
Hopefully the next liberal leader realizes the benefits of a good alternative energy policy and decides to act instead of just talk. Ontario got the message when the learned that Germany with the strongest economy in Europe has more people employed in the green technology sector than their much respected auto industry.