Surrey Board of Trade Says BC Government CleanBC Plan Will Lead to Economic Opportunities

SURREY, B.C.  – On Wednesday, December 5, 2018, the BC Government released the CleanBC Plan. The plan’s intent is to grow the use of clean and renewable energy to grow the economy, spur new industry innovations, increase affordability to clean energy options for all, collaboration with Indigenous peoples and meet 2030 GHG reduction goals.

“I was pleased to see that the CleanBC plan offers incentives for small and medium sized businesses to switch to green technology and green efficiencies,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

“Surrey’s business community is comprised of entrepreneurs and innovators – and we look forward to capturing new economic opportunities.”

The Surrey Board of Trade provided input into this plan in August 2018. “In summary, the Surrey Board of Trade wanted the BC Government to focus on passing legislation that will encourage businesses and stakeholders to use processes, equipment, automobiles, systems, etc. that will generate as little polluting waste as possible and with the smallest carbon footprint.”

“The BC Government, through this CleanBC Strategy has incentivized technology that will use renewable energy, such as solar and wind energy. The plan encourages a “Zero Waste” culture throughout BC.”

The Surrey Board of Trade indicates that what needs immediate consideration is:

1. Transportation Sector – Buses, cars, trucks, etc. make up 39% of carbon emissions – what are we doing to motivate people to buy electric and convert to electric vehicles? What rebates are currently in place? How can we trigger some measurable change in conversion to electric? Investment in millions of dollars to construct charging stations across major road routes is an option. Should we have dedicated electric vehicle lanes on major highways just like HOV lanes?

2. Light and Heavy Industry, Small, Medium and Large Commercial Businesses – Saw mills, industrial manufacturing facilities, trucking companies, etc. How do we get them to move away from fossil fuels and convert into other renewable energy options? How do we get them to reduce emissions?

3. Buildings – Residential, Commercial, Industrial – We need energy efficient buildings. The energy step code approach, which Surrey just implemented, is a good step forward. Is this now mandated by legislation or are municipalities just taking the initiative to implement due to their own motivation to reduce energy consumption within cities?

4. Zero Waste – Reduce, reuse, recycle waste in every sector. Legislation needs to be passed that enforces the zero-waste culture targeting municipalities and businesses, and give money back to them if they achieve certain goals. This will also help deal with the landfill space issue within the region. Pass legislation to deal with plastics or any other non-biodegradable waste.

Surrey will be the largest city in British Columbia very soon. The Surrey Board of Trade recognizes the value that clean energy activity brings to Surrey’s economic foundations. Surrey itself has been a leader in environmentally focused strategies in building our city.

Highlights of the CleanBC Plan include:

o   Direct a portion of BC’s carbon tax paid by industry into incentives for cleaner operations
o   Make industrial natural gas consumption cleaner with a minimum 15% to come from renewable gas
o   By 2040, every new car sold in B.C. will be a zero-emission vehicle. The government is helping people afford cleaner cars and save money on fuel with incentive programs, and making it easier to charge or fuel them: 1.3 Mt of carbon pollution reduced by 2030

o   The Province is speeding up the switch to cleaner fuels at the gas pump – with further reductions to the carbon intensity of transportation fuels: 4.0 Mt of carbon pollution reduced by 2030

o   Every new building constructed in B.C. will be “net-zero energy ready” by 2032. Along the way, government is requiring new buildings to be more efficient, and ramping up funding for renovations and energy retrofits to existing homes and offices, including $400 million to support retrofits and upgrades for B.C.’s stock of publicly funded housing: 2.0 Mt of carbon pollution reduced by 2030

o   By 2030, 30% of all sales of new light-duty cars and trucks will be zero-emission vehicles, rising to 100% by 2040

o   The government is helping B.C. to reduce residential and industrial organic waste, turning it into a clean resource: 0.7 Mt of carbon pollution reduced by 2030