rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Open letter to Premier Christy Clark: B.C. businesses support a stronger carbon tax

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $1 per month!

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

More than 130 B.C. businesses have signed the following open letter calling on the B.C. government to commit to strengthening the province's carbon tax as part of the Climate Leadership Plan, due out this spring.

The Board of Change, Clean Energy B.C., Climate Smart Businesses Inc., Pembina Institute and Clean Energy Canada initiated the letter, which was released yesterday (March 30).

March 29, 2016

The Honourable Christy Clark, MLA
Premier of the Province of British Columbia
Box 9041
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9E1

Dear Premier,

As businesses representing the diversity of B.C.'s economy, we write to you in support of the Climate Leadership Team's recommendation to begin increasing the carbon tax by $10 per tonne per year in July 2018. The province's carbon tax has been widely praised as an effective climate policy because of its ability to reduce carbon pollution, increase innovation, and support economic growth.

We also support the Team's recommendations to use incremental carbon tax revenue to reduce other taxes; support vulnerable British Columbians; maintain the competitiveness of our emission-intensive, trade-exposed sectors; and invest in innovation and climate solutions. The combined fiscal package finds a good balance between economic, environmental, and social objectives.

These decisions should be finalized this spring as part of the Climate Leadership Plan. Communicating the decisions early will give businesses and British Columbians time to plan and figure out the solutions that make the most sense for them.



Here are three key reasons we support next steps on the carbon tax:

1. B.C.'s economy will benefit. During the first phase of B.C.'s carbon tax, the province's economic growth outperformed the rest of the country, and studies that examined B.C.'s carbon tax in detail found no impact on economic growth. According to the Climate Leadership Team's report, B.C.'s GDP will grow by an average of 2.1 per cent per year under the Team's recommendations, with growth distributed across the economy. There are also less quantifiable benefits. Having B.C. recognized as part of the solution to climate change helps attract good people and companies to the province  --  we can't afford to lose that advantage.

2. B.C.'s clean energy and clean tech businesses will thrive. As of 2014, over 68,000 British Columbians were working in clean economy jobs  --  up 12.5 per cent from 2010. Those people work in businesses that supply renewable energy, help improve energy efficiency, and develop a host of other clean energy and climate change solutions. These businesses serve domestic and international markets, and they work in partnership with universities, local governments, and First Nations around the province. They are well positioned to help B.C. continue its transition to a clean energy economy, and help meet a rapidly growing global demand for those solutions.

3. B.C.'s businesses will be better partners in reducing carbon pollution.Close to one-third of B.C.'s carbon pollution is under the direct control of the province's 170,000 small and medium-sized businesses, which employ more than one million people. We are part of the solution when we work in energy efficient buildings, drive cleaner vehicles and reduce waste. Strengthening the carbon tax in conjunction with incentives like a tax credit will encourage businesses to accelerate investment in solutions like training, technology, retrofitting and improved processes.

In 2008, the Climate Action Plan  --  with the carbon tax as its central pillar  --  helped move the province's economy ahead, it helped boost the province's reputation and it helped the environment. Taking the next steps on the carbon tax as part of the Climate Leadership Plan is an opportunity to build on those initial successes, and it is an opportunity we must seize as a province.


Pembina Institute

[For full list of signatories, click here.] 


Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Image: Flickr/bcgovphotos

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.