British Columbia Premier Christy Clark, a key figure in Canada’s talks over pipelines and emissions policy, will skip a climate summit in Quebec next week to speak at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund about her province’s carbon tax, a person familiar with her plans says.
Clark will attend an April 17 session of the World Bank and IMF’s 2015 Spring Meetings to discuss her province’s experience, according to a government official who asked not to be identified because the appearance hasn’t been made public.
The meeting offers a global stage for a premier who has kept emissions from rising and whose Pacific-coast province lies between Canada’s landlocked oil sands and global markets. It also means she’ll be skipping a domestic climate summit in Quebec three days earlier, the official said. Though the Washington and Quebec summits don’t overlap, Clark’s schedule next week made it impossible to attend both, the official said.
Opposition to Canadian pipeline projects has been underpinned by environmental criticism, and Clark has said she intends to speak internationally more often about her province’s environmental record.
Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline and Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain expansion run through British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost and third-most-populous province. B.C. is also seeking to become a hub for liquefied natural gas projects.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim praised B.C.’s record at a Council on Foreign Relations event in December 2014. B.C.’s carbon tax is designed to be revenue-neutral, raising billions of dollars while reducing other taxes by the same figure.
Under the carbon tax, B.C.’s emissions have remained stable in recent years even as its population and gross domestic product have grown.
Clark will not be the only Western premier skipping the April 14 Quebec City provincial summit on climate change. Alberta Premier Jim Prentice will also miss the Quebec event because he’s in the middle of an election campaign, according to Janice Schroeder, an Alberta government spokeswoman. Clark will send an official in her place, while Alberta will send two bureaucrats.
That will leave the Quebec summit without the premiers of the two western provinces in a year when provincial leaders are negotiating a deal on emissions targets ahead of the December United Nations climate change conference in Paris.