B.C. businesses support a stronger carbon tax

More than 160 B.C. businesses have signed the following open letter calling on the B.C....

Solar panels on top of Dawson Creek City Hall. Photo: David Dodge, Green Energy Futures.

More than 160 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 BC, Climate Smart Businesses Inc., Pembina Institute and Clean Energy Canada initiated the letter.

Media release: More than 130 B.C. businesses call for a stronger carbon tax (March 30, 2016)

Share the open letter: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

New initiative

Business Coalition for a Clean Economy

Read the open letter

March 29, 2016

(signatories updated April 8, 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.[1] 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;[2] 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.[3],[4] According to the Climate Leadership Team’s report, B.C.’s GDP will grow by an average of 2.1% 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% from 2010.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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.


1660 East Broadway Holdings Ltd

275 Lansdowne Street Ltd

3106 Cambie Street Ltd

977 Fort Street Ltd

Acme Systemic Results

Acuere Consulting Inc.

AdapTech Solutions Ltd.

Aeolis Wind Power

Alca Consulting Inc.

Altaqua Hydroenergy Corp

Alterra Power Corp.


ATD Waste Systems Inc.

Avalon Mechanical Consultants Ltd.

Avid Consulting Group Ltd.

B. Small Enterprises Ltd

Bandidas Taqueria

BC Bioenergy Network

Bear Claw Lodge

Blue Fuel Energy

Bluefin Electric Marine Inc.

Board of Change

Boldt Communications Inc.


Bruce Haden Architect Ltd.

Bullfrog Power

Canada Ticket Inc.

Canadian Electric Vehicles ltd

Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association

Carbon Engineering

Carbon Free Group

Cascadia Instrumentation Inc.

Chinook Power Corp.

Clean and Green Carpets

Clean Energy BC

Climate Smart Businesses Inc.

Communities + Architecture Inc.

Compass Resource Management

Conversations for Responsible Economic Development

Dageraad Brewing

Dakota Projects Ltd

Dawn Chorus Bed & Breakfast

Demand Side Energy

DL Safety Consulting Ltd.

DMC Associates

Dovetail Consulting Group

Dudoc Vancouver

Duvon Holdings Ltd

Dysco Services Ltd.

E-Factor Engineering, Incorporated

Eagle Wing Tours

Earthvoice Strategies Inc.

EasySun Powergrids Inc.

Ebbwater Consulting

eco-Options Energy Cooperative

Ecofish Research

Ecotrust Canada Capital

Emergent Waste Solutions Inc.

Energy Revolution Services

EnerSys Analytics Inc.

EnviroMez Services

ESSA Technologies Ltd.

Etalim Inc

Ethical Bean Coffee


False Creek Collision

Farallon Consultants Limited

Fenix Energy

Festival Cinemas Ltd.

Focal Engineering Inc.


Ghost Films Inc.

Global Unicycle Creative Inc

Green Chamber of Commerce BC

Green Sky Sustainability Consulting Inc.

Greenworx Consulting

Growing City


GW Solutions

Harvey McKinnon Associates

HASTe Worker's Cooperative

Hemlock Printers Ltd.

Hydrogen Technology & Energy Corporation

Inland Comfort Air Conditioning Ltd.

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.

Integral Group

International Web Express

Inventys Thermal Technologies Inc.

James Glave Communications

Jinzi Investments Ltd.

Julian Griggs & Associates Ltd

Kambo Green Solutions Inc.

Kisik Aerial Survey

Kispiox Fishing Company

Kispiox Valley Ventures

Kootenay Country Store Co-operative

Kumu Agency

Lanefab Design / Build

Light House Sustainable Building Centre

Liquid Elements Contracting

Mazzi Consulting Services

McCullough Coach Lines Ltd.

MediData Design Inc.

Mills Office Productivity

MK Ince & Associates

Modo Car Coop

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)

Murray McFadden MD Inc

MyKiss Guiding Services

Naikun Wind Energy Group

NEI Investments


Northwest Hydraulic Consultants Ltd.

Novex Delivery Solutions


Pinna Sustainability

Praxispoint Consulting Group

Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust

PW Trenchless Construction Inc.

Rangate North Woodworking Solutions Inc.

RDC Fine Homes

RE Consulting Canada

Realize Strategies Co-operative

Recollective Consulting

Recycling Alternative


Reeve Consulting

Reliable Controls Corporation

Renewable Power Corp.

Renewal Funds

Responsible Investment Association

S2G Biochemicals

Salt Spring Consulting Ltd

Schein Foundation

Sea Breeze Power Corp.

Sensible Building Science

SES Consulting

SFU Community Trust

Sharp Six Services

Shift Delivery

Spa Utopia Health and Wellness centre



Starr Schein Enterprises Incorporated

Stone Event Imports, Ltd.

Strandberg Consulting Inc.

Strathcona Business Improvement Association

Sun Bright Solar Inc.

Super Grocer & Pharmacy

Sustainability Solutions Group

Sustainability Ventures

Swift Creek Consulting

Swiss Solar Tech Ltd.

Switch Materials Inc.

The Cleaning Solution

The Kerrisdale Lumber Company

Transom Enterprises

Travesia Partners

Umbrella Property Services

Vancouver Economic Commission

Vancouver Renewable Energy

Vanterre Projects Corp

VeloMetro Mobility Inc.

Walas Concepts

WEBIR Automation and Control Services Ltd

Westpark Electric Ltd.

cc:   Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Peter Fassbender
Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett
Minister of Environment Mary Polak
Minister of Finance Mike de Jong
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Shirley Bond
Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone
Parliamentary Secretary Jordan Sturdy


[1] The Climate Leadership Team’s recommendations are available here: bit.ly/1OvykvE. The Team recommended that the annual $10 per tonne increases continue for five years, at which point it would be reviewed. The rate schedule was selected because it helped achieve the economic, social and environmental components of the Team’s mandate.

[2] The recommendation to use a portion of carbon tax revenue to maintain the competitiveness of emissions-intensive, trade-exposed sectors was only intended for situations when those sectors were at an economic disadvantage because B.C.’s climate policy was stronger than its competitors. Furthermore, any support for those sectors was supposed to be designed in a way to avoid undermining the incentive to reduce carbon pollution.

[3] Stewart Elgie, “Just the facts: Did the carbon tax shift burden or buoy B.C.’s economy?,” Sustainable Prosperity, July 9, 2014. bit.ly/21G6t1R

[4] Brian C. Murray and Nicolas Rivers, B.C.’s Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax: A Review of the Latest “Grand Experiment” in Environmental Policy (Sustainable Prosperity, 2015). bit.ly/1dA74Ou

[5] Pacific Coast Collaborative, West Coast Clean Economy: 2010-2014 Jobs Update (2015). http://bit.ly/1PZ6vyS

[6] Climate Smart calculations based on B.C.’s Community Energy and Emissions Inventory (2012), Statistics Canada’s Canadian Business Counts (2015), and ICBC vehicle counts.

[7] Research conducted by the SFU School for Public Policy for Climate Smart, showed that targeted incentives like an investment tax credit could help small and medium businesses cut their carbon pollution. In a November 2, 2015 letter to Minister of Environment Mary Polak, Climate Smart provided analysis of the potential impact of an investment tax credit. “If one third of them apply for the tax credits, preliminary estimates indicate B.C. could reduce carbon pollution by 1.2 million tonnes annually by 2020. This would yield annual operating savings to those businesses of half a billion dollars.”

Download the letter

Click here to get the PDF.


Since its release on March 30, 2016, the open letter has received coverage from many media outlets.

As well, the open letter was reposted on Medium and Rabble.

Stay in touch

Want more information and updates on the B.C. Climate Leadership Plan from the Pembina Institute?

Please sign up by emailing ClimateLeadership@pembina.org.

Further reading

Learn more about the B.C. Climate Leadership Plan process.


Our perspectives to your inbox.

The Pembina Institute endeavors to maintain your privacy and protect the confidentiality of any personal information that you may give us. We do not sell, share, rent or otherwise disseminate personal information. Read our full privacy policy.