03/30/2016 16:34 EDT | Updated 03/31/2017 01:12 EDT

B.C. businesses call on Clark to lift carbon tax freeze, introduce annual hikes

VICTORIA — A group of British Columbia businesses is calling on Premier Christy Clark to raise the carbon tax to help the economy.

The open letter to Clark signed by more than 130 businesses comes in the final days of a provincewide climate consultation process aimed at setting government goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions and boost the green economy.

The letter calls on Clark to announce her government will lift its four-year freeze on the carbon tax at $30 per tonne and introduce annual increases of $10 per tonne, starting in July 2018.

Businesses signing the letter include B.C.-based renewable energy companies, clean-technology innovators and outdoor recreation operators.

Matt Horne of the Pembina Institute, an environmental policy research group, says more than 68,000 British Columbians work in clean-economy jobs, an increase of more than 12 per cent between 2010 and 2014.

He says if Clark approves annual increases, the carbon tax will be $350 a tonne in 2050, the same year B.C. has targeted to cut its green house gas emissions to 80 per cent below 2007 levels.


The Canadian Press