B.C. Doubles Down On Emission Cuts


British Columbia’s environment ministry has launched legislation aiming to cut carbon emissions in the province by 40 percent from 2007 levels over the next 12 years and by 60 percent by 2040, Minister George Heyman told media.

Now the government will devise a comprehensive climate strategy, to be released in the fall, which will include recommended emission reduction actions for businesses and communities. Among the measures to be applied, Heyman said, will be cutting emissions from transportation, reducing energy consumption in buildings, both commercial and residential, as well as public ones, and implementing cleaner energy technologies.

Carbon emission reduction targets are not new in British Columbia. They were first approved by the former government, run by the Liberals, who aimed at a 33-percent emission cut by 2020. The government admitted in 2015 that its target was impossible to achieve, but it would continue with its efforts to lower emissions.

Heyman, however, blamed the former government for missing on its 2020 targets. “The previous government, after stalling on sustained climate action for several years, admitted they could not meet their 2020 target, and those targets are repealed in this act,” he said as quoted by Global News.

B.C.’s NDP government has given multiple signals that climate change and the environment are a top priority. The province is currently embroiled in an intense dispute with neighbor Alberta, from which it gets more than half of the fuel it needs, on the expansion of the Trans Mountain crude oil pipeline that would potentially see the amount of diluted bitumen from Alberta flowing into B.C. triple.

According to Heyman and PM John Horgan, however, this increase in the flow of oil will threaten B.C.’s environment. The government is now looking for ways to challenge the federally approved project at the provincial Court of Appeals.

Meanwhile, drivers in B.C.’s largest city, Vancouver, pay the highest prices at the pump in North America, and a new climate change strategy will more likely than not include further tax increases on fossil fuels.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com