February 20, 2019

By William Scott

Yesterday, the Government of British Columbia tabled their 2019 budget Making Life Better: A Plan for B.C. which lays out $902 million in new funding over 5 years for implementing CleanBC, the government’s clean growth and climate strategy (see our quick take from this fall).

Some key investments in clean growth from this year’s budget include:

 

  • Encouraging energy efficiency and electrification:
    • $41 million for incentives for home retrofits, including:
      • Up to $2,000 to replace fossil fuel heating with electric air-source heat pumps
      • Up to $1,000 for upgrading to better insulated windows and doors
      • Up to $700 for upgrading to a high efficiency natural gas furnace
    • $40 million to support energy efficiency and emissions reduction in public buildings

 

  • Addressing transportation emissions:
    • Support for EV purchase incentives up to $6,000 per vehicle
    • $30 million for new and upgraded fast-charging EV and hydrogen fuelling infrastructure
    • $6 million to support conversion of light-vehicle fleets to ZEVs
    • $6 million to support training for electricians and automotive technicians in the clean energy vehicle sector
    • $6 million to help make communities more walkable and improve cycling infrastructure

 

  • Combatting climate change and maintaining competitiveness for people and businesses:
    • $223 million over 3 years for increasing the maximum annual Climate Action Tax Credit for low and middle-income households (up to $400 starting July 1, 2019)
    • $168 million over 4 years to help large industry reduce GHG emissions
    • $15 million in 2019 to support remote communities switch to cleaner energy

 

British Columbia’s commitment to climate policy ambition and investing in clean growth contrasts with trends in some other provinces. The province continues to be an example of strong environmental and economic performance, with a healthy surplus, the fastest economic growth, and lowest unemployment in Canada, while maintaining leadership in environmental policy, including steady increases in the province’s carbon tax.

While some questions remain around the funding and programming to support CleanBC in achieving the province’s emissions reduction target of 40% below 2007 levels by 2040, the 2019 budget maintains the province’s effective approach to promoting strong environmental and economic performance.

William Scott

Research Associate