Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Climate Action Dividend

A $100 cheque will shortly be in the mail for every man, woman and child in B.C. as a concrete sign of government's effort to push British Columbians into thinking green. The hope is that people will use the climate action dividend to make changes in their lifestyle, said Finance Minister Carole Taylor, as she presented her green-tinged budget Tuesday.

However, it's a carrot not a stick and there are no strings attached to the money.

"This gives the dollars to individuals to make their own choices," Taylor said.

Ideally, people will choose to make small changes, such as turning down the thermostat by five degrees, weather-stripping windows or selling the gas guzzler, she said.

But, even if they choose to spend the government money on dinner or new shoes, it will ensure people do not have to be out of pocket from the newly-announced carbon tax, which will apply to almost all fossil fuels, including gas, diesel, natural gas, coal, propane and home heating fuel.

"It will be their personal choice. I am not someone who feels very comfortable telling other people what they should do," Taylor said.

The $440 million cash back scheme is part of the province's plans to ensure the carbon tax is revenue neutral.

"If you change your lifestyle even moderately, you will have extra dollars in your pocket," Taylor said.

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I think this is an excellent idea, but I think it's most beneficial to those who have to sustain themselves and/or their young families rather than those who, like me, are at an age where they are in a post secondary institution, live at home free of rent, and don't drive. This is not to say that the government shouldn't give it to people like me, but it's really not as advantageous because, well, I'm sure a percentage of us would put it in our savings account or even give it to our parents to use to greenify the house, but most of us would most likely spend it on things that need to be taken care of right now such as minor credit card bills or unnecessary things such as clothes, entertainment, eating out, and traveling. Really, we should make the right choice and either save this $100 for the future because eventually, we would be paying the carbon tax when we do own and house and start to drive, or invest it in something to benefit the environment such as a pair of running shoes and start walking more instead of driving, but I think it's totally understandable why we can't think that far ahead and need to deal with things of the moment. As for me, this money is most probably going to my mom to pay her back for my L.A. trip.

It's been a busy last couple of days. I foresee another eventful 3 days.
I am annoyed at all the AE "Last Chance" fleece e-mails I've been getting, and I am frustrated I cannot add funds to my paypal account.

I need to start replacing my creamy + fruity Danone yogurt with the much healthier regular yogurt + berries combo.

Now, back to my essay................

1 comment:

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