BC says insurance rates to go up by 49 per cent as

B.C. says insurance rates to go up by 4.9 per cent as affordability is reviewed VICTORIA – Those who insure their vehicles in British Columbia will see a rate increase for basic insurance of 4.9 per cent.The provincial government has directed the B.C. Utilities Commission to approve the rate for next year for the public auto insurer, but it wants to make sure that in the long term, the rates are in line with inflation.Transport Minister Todd Stone told reporters in a conference call that he acknowledges an increase of nearly 5 per cent year-over-year is not affordable for most families.“I’ve heard the message loud and clear that people are worried about the increasing cost of living,” he said.The minister announced the government has launched a third-party review to make recommendations that will keep auto insurance rates affordable in the long term.Stone said the goal is to put British Columbia drivers first and for the Insurance Corp. of B.C. to manage its cost pressures and bring rate increases closer to the inflation rate.He said the review will look at the entire spectrum of the insurer’s operations to come up with as many solutions as possible for reducing cost pressures.“We can’t keep doing things the same way and expect a different outcome, so we’re prepared to change,” Stone said.The minister said the government does not intend to move to a privatized model of insurance through this review.The insurance provider has already begun the process to prepare for the review, and the third party is expected to be selected in the new year.Stone said the aim is to have results of the review ready by early next summer to be able to effect the insurance provider’s next round of rate filing that is due in August.The third-party review comes as the frequency and severity of injury claims jumped, while the average cost of vehicle claims increased by 17 per cent between 2014 and 2015.The province announced earlier this year that it would be doubling basic premiums for high-priced luxury vehicles and clamping down on fraud with a new detection tool.ICBC is the province’s public auto insurer and almost all drivers in the province must purchase basic auto insurance for their vehicle through the corporation. by The Canadian Press Posted Dec 19, 2016 4:06 pm MDT Last Updated Dec 19, 2016 at 5:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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With access to clean modern energy poorer countries look to power ahead

In its 2017 report on the world’s 47 Least Developed Countries (LDCs), focused on Transformational Energy Access the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said that only four of them were on course to achieve internationally agreed targets on energy distribution by 2030. While they have made great strides in recent years, achieving the global goal of universal access to energy by 2030, the finish line for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will require a 350 per cent increase in their annual rate of electrification, said UNCTAD. “Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 is not only a question of satisfying households’ basic energy needs,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said in Geneva, ahead of the report’s publication on Tuesday. “That in itself has valuable welfare implications, but we need to go beyond […] For electrification to transform LDC economies, modern energy provision needs to spur productivity increases and unlock the production of more goods and services.” Dr. Kituyi added: “The productive use of energy is what turns access into economic development, and what ensures that investments in electricity infrastructure are economically viable. But that means looking beyond satisfying households basic needs to achieving transformational energy access – satisfying producers’ needs for adequate, reliable and affordable energy.” Find out more about the UN’s work with and for the world’s 47 Least Developed Countries hereTo that end, the report notes that renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, could have a revolutionary effect in rural areas, home to 82 per cent of those without power in the least developed countries, and help to overcome the historical obstacles to rural electrification. But non-hydro renewable energy in these countries has so far come mostly from small-scale technologies, such as solar lanterns and stand-alone home systems. While these have brought some progress, they fall short of the game-changing access to power that they need to transform their economies. Utility-scale renewable technologies capable of feeding the grids and mini-grids necessary not only to power homes, but also to grow businesses and industries, need to be deployed rapidly. But to achieve this, the least developed countries must overcome important technological, economic and institutional obstacles. This will require both the right national policies and stronger international support. Because energy technologies, and particularly renewable technologies, are constantly evolving, it is critical that the least developed countries gain access to the technologies suited to their particular conditions and circumstances, and that they strengthen the capacity of their energy sectors to absorb such technologies. The recently created Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries could help, but developed countries could help even more by living up to their technology-transfer obligations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, said UNCTAD. read more

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