Documentation:Open Case Studies/Political Science/Regional1

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Introduction

In order to address climate change which affects a broad base of stakeholders, we will be reviewing specific provincial-based programs that contribute to sustainable development and environmental protections.

Between automation, exponential advances in technology, climate change, global political instability and resource depletion, B.C. needs a strong vision and an actionable strategy in order to succeed amidst these rapid, tectonic shifts.

Under the NDP and Green Party Coalition, there are hopes to create an innovation commission to help create businesses conscious of environmental sustainability, and grow innovations in BC. The programs of the Innovation Commission will include attracting inward investment, administering funding programs, and marketing B.C. technology. Proposals for the BC government: Adopt a long term province-wide goals for renewable energy by implementing policies that offer options for zero- or low-emission transportation.

One often cited problems with sustainability is cost, access to sustainable resources at a reasonable price for businesses and companies through better subsidies, as BC’s forests and minerals are often exported raw overseas or in quantities that make it difficult for smaller businesses to access. Policies that make these resources available at smaller scales, and ensure that they are managed sustainably, can help innovation for the economy while taking the environment into account.

1) Review Green/NDP proposal for an Innovation Commission

  • Creation of a Innovation Commission was proposed by the current BC government to address the changing nature of business over the next 10-25 years.
  • Mandate to help sustain and grow innovative B.C. enterprises, serving as the home to all of the initiatives listed in this portion of the platform.
  • Programs of the Innovation Commission will include attracting inward investment, administering funding programs, and marketing B.C. technology

2) Review the existing Clean Energy Vehicle Program

  • Majority of British Columbia's CO2 emissions are produced by exhaust fumes from cars. The Clean Energy Vehicle Program incentivizes British Columbians to drive cars with sustainable fuels with financial subsidies on their purchase.
  • We will look at further expansion of the program to provide luxury vehicle tax exemption for those cars falling under the Clean Energy Vehicle Program.

3) Explore provincial expansion of municipally-run compost management programs

  • Currently, the BC government has regulations for industries to restrict improper Organic Matter Recycling Regulations. For individual households, the regulations are administered municipally and we would like to see greater provincial involvement in enforcing the municipal regulations.
  • Increase the capacity for municipal waste management programs with further provincial subsidies for more convenient and accessible waste management resources.
  • Set a provincial standard for disposable bins to ensure that recycling, compost, and garbage are correctly distributed and managed.

Action Plan

Clean Energy Vehicle Program

BC introduced the Clean Energy Vehicle Program in 2011. The program is intended to encourage the adoption and use of clean energy vehicles including electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. To do this, the program: - helps make clean transportation more affordable - increases awareness of clean energy vehicles - investing in infrastructure - supporting research, job and economic development in the clean energy vehicle industry

In September 2017, the BC government committed to expand the CEV Program by adding $40 million to the program budget.

How can the government make people change behaviour?


1) They are forced to through laws and rules or through the threat of punishment. E.g. In Vancouver you must compost or recycle or you will be fined.


2) They are persuaded to through economic instruments or rewards. E.g Carbon Tax or discounts on solar panels


3) They are encouraged through education or propaganda e.g. Clubs in schools, speakers, targeted environmental education, advocacy for the use of public transport, lowering prices.

Implications

Political


Climate change is universal and therefore affects everyone. It is in everyones best interest to talk about it and do something about it.


Environmental change needs to be addressed as a platform issues through demand

Economic


If policy is implemented towards more sustainable energy then businesses can benefit from being more environmental friendly. Benefits such as discounts on materials, tax breaks etc.

Social


97% of scientists agree that climate change is real, therefore its hard to deny its happening. On the social level we are more aware of it. E.g. There is a norm to not litter. (Social Shaming)

Remaining Challenges


The government must be willing to implement policies, and there is always a chance of controversy. E.g People may not want to be taxed for something their aren't necessarily feeling the effects of at this moment in time.