How BC budget goes green

The B.C. government is offering financial support for homeowners who want to retrofit their homes to make them more energy efficient and drivers who want to switch to cleaner vehicles.

As part of its Clean BC program, the government is spending $902 million over three years to help achieve its climate change goals.

The 2019-20 budget includes up to $6,000 to help people buy zero-emission vehicles.

It also gives homeowners up to $14,000 for retrofits and switches to energy efficient heating, and $2,000 to replace fossil fuel home heating systems with electric heat pumps.

Families are also eligible for a $400 climate tax credit this year.

Finance Minister Carole James says the budget links climate change to people's pocketbooks through those incentives.

"British Columbians, from all political stripes, recognize the threat posed to our province by climate change," she said in her budget speech.

"We are reducing climate pollution by shifting homes, vehicles and businesses away from fossil fuels towards clean electricity and other sources of renewable energy."

The budget provides $41 million to make clean energy retrofits to homes and $90 million to help people purchase electric vehicles.

The government's climate plan would see greenhouse gas emissions cut by 40 per cent by 2030, 60 per cent by 2040 and 80 per cent by 2050.

The Georgia Strait Alliance said the government's approach will help it achieve 75 per cent of its 2030 pre-Paris agreement target, but the province is still relying heavily on revenue from the development of an LNG facility that undercuts its climate goals.

"It is as though we are revving the engine while parked," said Anna Barford, a community organizer with the alliance.

Barford said how the government achieves the remaining 25 per cent of its climate change target is still to be outlined in future budgets.

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