Liberal critic says NDP climate plan gives Greens an easy out

By James Peters
December 5, 2018 - 5:20pm

KAMLOOPS — The environment critic for BC's Official Opposition says the NDP government's climate plan, unveiled by Premier John Horgan today, simply helps Green Leader Andrew Weaver out of a political jam.

The plan includes changes to building codes requiring new buildings to be net-zero energy by 2032, among other measures.

It meets a series of greenhouse gas emission reduction targets over the coming decades, but also only accounts for 75 per cent of the measures that will achieve those reductions.

Liberal Environment Critic Peter Milobar says leaving the measures vague is a boon to Weaver, who can embrace the plan despite reacting in outrage to the government's promotion of the LNG industry earlier this year.

"It was a way to give the Greens the out they needed after their leader's over-the-top statements about LNG and bringing the government down over that," said Milobar. "I think he knows we would be supporting LNG anyways, so there was no way he was bringing the government down over that. But this was a way to save face and really tout something that is essentially the same plan that we've had."

Milobar noted the plan is light on details, and the costs aren't immediately known, either.

"I think the real detail will be in that missing 25 per cent of emissions and what plans they have for that. Unfortunately, that detail was lacking right now, as well as any detail about moving forward into the budget session. I think [there were] a lot of unanswered questions, and we'll see what happens in February," said Milobar.

"That's really the questions people will have: around that missing 25 per cent of emission reductions. Arguably, the first 75 per cent will be the easier percentage of [reductions] to get. So really, what heavy lifting are they prepared to do moving forward to try to get that last 25 per cent?"

Efforts being focused on protecting moose in Cariboo-Chilcotin