Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Citizens Conservation Councils on Climate Action Report

Around Christmas Eve, the province released a report from the Citizens’ Conservation Councils on Climate Action. The report didn’t receive much press coverage, but I wanted to highlight some of the recommendations in the report.

The council is highly supportive of the carbon tax, and recommends that is continues. It also recommends that zero/low-emission vehicles and higher-emission vehicles should be licensed under one license to promote the use of zero/low-emission vehicles in many parts of BC where higher-emission vehicles may be needed during the winter. The council recommends providing incentives to allow for home energy-saving retrofits. The Province’s LiveSmartBC had such a plan, but it has been canceled.

The council recommends that climate action plans be developed on a region-by-region bases and recommended the following for Metro Vancouver:
Reduce the convenience of single occupancy vehicle travel
Government should promote alternative transportation options beyond transit through programs such as carpool services, bike rental programs, and car co-op programs. Government can also make single vehicle occupancy less convenient by:
1) Encouraging the installation of parking meters in all commercial areas;
2) Reducing highway speed limits; and
3) Encouraging local governments to create more transit only lanes.

Develop or support incentives to encourage people to live closer to their place of employment
Government can help encourage people to live closer to their place of employment by:
1) Working with financial institutions to provide incentives such as location specific mortgages to make it easier for people to purchase housing close to their place of employment; and
2) Using fiscal incentives to encourage businesses to locate in places close to housing suitable to the average income of their staff,
3) and encourage businesses to provide financially competitive alternative transportation

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