BC government unveils its long-term climate action plan

Dec 6 2018, 4:43 am

The BC government has released its CleanBC plan, which it said is aimed at reducing climate pollution, while creating more jobs and economic opportunities for people, businesses and communities.

“The low-carbon economy we build together will bring opportunities and jobs throughout the province,” said Premier John Horgan. “By moving to clean, renewable energy — like our abundant supply of BC electricity — we can power our growing economy and make life better and more affordable for British Columbians.”

In unveiling the CleanBC plan, Horgan said his government has made a priority of:

  • Reducing climate pollution by shifting homes, vehicles, industry and business off burning fossil fuels and toward greater use of clean BC electricity and other renewable energies.
  • Boosting energy-efficient solutions, like zero-emission vehicles and home heat pumps, by making them more affordable and available for British Columbians.
  • Becoming a destination for new investment and industry looking to meet the growing global demand for low-carbon products, services and pollution-reducing technologies.

The province said its CleanBC plan was developed as a pathway to achieve the province’s legislated climate targets of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% by the year 2030, based on 2007 levels. The plan describes and quantifies measures that will eliminate 18.9 megatonnes (Mt) of its 2030 target. Remaining reduction initiatives will be quantified over the next 18 to 24 months.

“With CleanBC, British Columbia is rising to the challenge of climate change,” said Horgan. “We need to begin changing how we live, work and commute to put BC on a cleaner, more sustainable path.”

Key points of the plan include:

  • The requirement that every new car sold in BC will be a zero-emission vehicle by 2040.
  • Speeding up the switch to cleaner fuels at the gas pump — with further reductions to the carbon intensity of transportation fuels: 4.0 Mt of carbon pollution reduced by 2030
  • Every new building constructed in the province will be “net-zero energy ready” by 2032.
  • Helping BC to reduce residential and industrial organic waste, turning it into a clean resource: 0.7 Mt of carbon pollution reduced by 2030
  • Helping industry lower its emissions and reduce its pollution: 8.4 Mt of carbon pollution reduced by 2030

“CleanBC is a BC-specific approach to making our communities strong and vibrant for decades to come as we rise to the challenge of global climate change,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We can build a low-carbon economy that includes all sectors and all workers. Together, we can protect our children’s future, while making life more affordable today.”

As part of this strategy, the provincial government is also developing a CleanBC labour readiness plan to address the labour and workplace opportunities that emerge through the implementation of CleanBC.

“We can make things more efficient, use less energy and waste less, while we make sure that the energy we use is clean and made in BC,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “We look forward to continuing our work with resource industries that have been taking action over the last two decades to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that are embracing the responsibility to do more.”

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