The Better Future FundSupporting solutions with B.C.'s carbon tax

Blog - Aug. 21, 2012 - By Kevin Sauve

British Columbia introduced the carbon tax in 2008 as a first step in its efforts to do its fair share to fight climate change. It was a bold policy at a time when too many jurisdictions were still doing little to nothing (or worse) to curb fossil fuel consumption. While more effort is needed across Canada, there’s no good reason for B.C. to delay making the carbon tax — or its other climate policies — work better for British Columbians.

By taking time this year to review the carbon tax, the province has opened the door for public input on the future of the policy, that is, until August 31. That’s why the Pembina Institute is partnering with the David Suzuki Foundation, Tides Canada’s Clean Energy Program, Organizing for Change and the British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association to encourage British Columbians to take this opportunity to share their ideas about how to improve the carbon tax.

Word cloud showing ideas for what to do with revenue generated by the Better Future Fund
We’re making two improvements to the carbon tax the focus of this campaign. The first is to close loopholes that allow industries such as oil and gas companies not to pay the tax on some of their emissions. Alone, this policy change could generate $125 million every year — an extra 10 per cent on the $1.2 billion the carbon tax currently collects.

The second is to put some of the money the carbon tax generates toward projects that reduce emissions. Taking $125 million as a start, we’d have an opportunity to make significant investments in climate change solutions like clean energy and improved transportation systems throughout the province.

We call it the Better Future Fund.

By submitting your ideas to www.betterfuturefund.ca your suggestions will become part of a growing word cloud representing the shared voice of everyone who contributes — the bigger a word is in the cloud, the more popular the idea. From the website, you can also send your suggestions directly to the Minister of Finance.

Although the province’s review formally finishes next week, those that submit an email address will be part of a growing group we hope will continue to work with us to make the carbon tax better for B.C.

There are a few things you can do now to help be part of the effort:

  1. Tell us how you think $125 million could be spent to make BC communities healthier, greener and more prosperous. Go to www.betterfuturefund.com now and submit your idea to the cloud. As of today, we have just over 550 submissions and we need many more for maximum impact.

  2. Write a letter to Minister Falcon. There’s a sample on the website to give you ideas or you can write your own from scratch.

  3. Of course, there's a Facebook page, and it would be great if you’d "Like" it, tell your friends and family about it and share the posts and links you find on it.

  4. There's also a Twitter feed. If you Tweet, follow @BetterFutureBC and use #BetterBC to take part in the conversation. Here are a couple of suggestions:

How would you spend $125M to make a better future for BC? Transit? Bike lanes? http://bit.ly/M9uElV #BetterBC #bcpoli #climate

Ask @kevinfalcon to recommit to #climate leadership, help secure a better future for BC http://bit.ly/M9uElV #BetterBC #bcpoli

The Better Future Fund is an interesting experiment for the Pembina Institute. By directly linking our traditional efforts on policy change with a public mobilization effort, we’re showing government how important action on climate change is, not just to environmental organizations like ours, but for all British Columbians. We hope you’ll join the effort.



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