5 NORTHERN AND RURAL COMMUNITIES The climate leadership team recommendations include specific measures to support households, workers and businesses in rural and northern communities. Forestry: The recommendations include smarter forestry practices to account for climate change impacts, and increasing the use of forestry by-products to generate energy. Clean Energy: The team recommended the government develop a strategy (and provide funding) to transition remote communities from diesel to locally generated renewable energy by 2025. Cost savings: Northerners stand to save money from the transition to energy-saving technologies. Today, living in the Peace River region typically means driving a truck, living in a house and spending up to $6,000 a year on energy—mainly gasoline and natural gas for heating. However, stronger climate action would make more efficient vehicle choices, homes and heating systems available over the next 15 years. By switching to a hybrid truck and heat-pump system, rural households can cut energy costs by $1,200 per year by 2030 (see Figure 3).9 The climate leadership team has recommended offsetting the costs of these purchases with incentives, resulting in further savings. Figure 3: A household’s energy savings will depend on how efficient their homes and vehicles are and the type of fuel they use. Increasing the carbon tax creates incentives to switch to technologies that pay for themselves through energy savings over time. Source: Clean Energy Canada.10 Employment: Distributed renewable energy projects provide long-term employment that would be less susceptible to boom-bust cycles. According to the Pembina Institute, clean energy projects currently employ more than 14,000 people across British Columbia,11 while more than 23,000 British Columbians work in green building development, manufacturing and supply12 (see Figure 4). More jobs would be created in these sectors if the Climate Leadership Team recommendations are implemented.

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