How would you spend $125 million to make your community stronger, healthier, and more prosperous and liveable? That’s the question the new Better Future Fund project asks.
The project is a collaboration between Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada (where I work), the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association, and the David Suzuki Foundation. It’s an experiment to engage British Columbians on the carbon tax review. It’s based on the idea that British Columbia’s carbon tax is a good policy that is working as designed — it is starting to reduce fossil fuel use in the province. But it could be made stronger.
How so? As the policy is currently designed, so-called “process” and “fugitive” emissions are not subject to the carbon tax. This is climate pollution that is leaked or released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels like natural gas are processed and transported, or as a byproduct of certain industrial processes.
If industry took responsibility for these emissions and paid the carbon tax on them, the province would have another $125 million in public coffers. Local B.C. communities could theoretically access these funds to secure a stronger future. Bike lanes? Neighbourhood heating systems? Energy retrofits for homes and schools? You name it.
Our team calls this hypothetical “green fund” the Better Future Fund.
So how about it? How would you invest $125 million? Swing on over to the site, it uses a cool SayZu word cloud to display all of the suggestions for how the money that is currently left on the table might best be invested to fight climate change and help secure a better future for British Columbians.
And ps while you’re there, be sure to use the form provided to send a quick email to the finance minister. He wants to know what you think of the carbon tax. He needs to hear from those who support the policy before August 31, when the current review of the policy, now underway, wraps up.