Canada’s BC province strengthens climate plan
The Canadian province of British Columbia is strengthening its CleanBC climate plan, accelerating existing measures and adding new programs, premier John Horgan said October 25.
“Here in BC, the threat of climate change is no longer decades or even years away,” he said. “The impacts are all around us, from devastating wildfires to intense heat waves and droughts. The scale of the climate emergency demands that we act with even greater urgency than ever before.”
The CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 builds on progress BC has made since 2018 by making polluting more expensive and the shift from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives more affordable. It is intended to help more businesses and communities increase their use of the province’s hydroelectricity resources and assist “large industry partners” with sector-specific plans to reduce “climate pollution” and meet the province’s targets.
“By working with all sectors, we can see clearly where we are making progress and where new thinking and resources are required,” said George Heyman, BC’s minister of environment and climate change strategy. “The CleanBC Roadmap puts greater focus on transitioning away from fossil fuels faster and adopting clean energy solutions.”
The roadmap includes a series of actions across eight pathways, including:
- A commitment to increase carbon pricing to meet or exceed the federal benchmark, which reaches C$170/mt by 2030;
- Requirements for new industry projects to have enforceable plans that allow BC to reach legislated and sector targets and net zero by 2050;
- Stronger regulations that will “nearly eliminate” industrial methane emissions by 2030 and collaboration with industry to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 75% below 2014 levels by 2030;
- A review of the province’s oil and gas royalty system to ensure it aligns with climate goals and provides a fair return;
- New requirements to make all new buildings zero-carbon by 2030;
- A target of 100% zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales by 2035;
- New ZEV targets for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles;
- Increased clean fuel and energy efficiency requirements, and;
- Support for innovation in areas like clean hydrogen, the forest-based bioeconomy and negative emissions technologies.
In 2018, BC introduced legislation mandating a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, from a 2007 baseline. The latest roadmap initiatives, it said, are intended to allow the province to reach its net-zero by 2050 ambitions.