BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)

B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

The three parties have made a series of promises when it comes to climate change and the environment when it comes to the Oct. 24 election.

BC Green Party

The B.C. Green Party has focused heavily on the environment, with a promise of $100 million over four years for “climate adaptation initiatives.” Part of this funding will go to disaster risk reduction, and money will also be spent to help communities and First Nations recover from climate change caused disasters. This climate disaster funding will include landscape level, ecologically-centred projects, forest management and fuel treatment projects.

Sonia Furstenau’s Greens have pledged to introduce a $500 million fund to support sustainable jobs, including developing a clean jobs program focused on tree planting, conservation and environmental remediation.

The Greens also promised to implement a “just transition program” for oil and gas sector workers to help them switch to a job in the clean economy.

Furstenau’s party has pledged to “enhance” the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act by requiring 100 per cent zero emission commercial vehicle sales by 2035, and nixing the provincial sales tax on used electric vehicles.

But the party’s signature promise is a commitment for B.C to become carbon neutral by 2045, with an interim 2025 target to make sure the province is on track. To this end, the Greens have pledged to end oil and gas subsidies, redirecting that money to clean innovation and setting targets for all industry sectors.

BC Liberals

The BC Liberals have pledged to “re-establish B.C. as a global climate leader” as part of their climate change and environment plan. The party has promised to reduce the impact of disasters like wildfires and floods and support investment into renewable and clean energy.

Andrew Wilkinson’s party has said it will expand public transit options and support investment into electric vehicle charging stations.

The party has promised to “ensure decisions in every ministry… are made with environmental improvement as an overarching goal.”

The party has also pledged to work with Ottawa to review scheduled increases in the federal carbon tax “in light of the current economic recession.”

BC NDP

The incumbent BC NDP has committed to net-zero emissions in the province by 2050, with an interim goal of reducing emissions by 40 per cent by 2030.

The party has said it will require new buildings and retrofits more energy efficient, including having all new buildings constructed by 2032 be net zero ready.

John Horgan’s NDP has said it will expand its zero emissions vehicle program to industrial vehicles and move towards the same target for a bus fleet.

Further promises on zero emission vehicles includes an income tested incentive on both new and used vehicles and increasing public vehicle charging availability.

READ MORE: Less than half of B.C. voters decided just weeks away from snap election: poll


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