B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman (Hansard TV)

B.C. setting new greenhouse gas reduction targets

2020 target officially scrapped, now 40% reduction sought by 2030

The B.C. NDP government has made official what the former B.C. Liberal government acknowledged three years ago – it’s not going to make its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a third in 2020.

Environment Minister George Heyman introduced legislation Monday to set new targets: a 40 per cent cut by 2030 and 60 per cent by 2040. Those are compared to 2007 levels, the year before B.C. became the first province in Canada to levy a carbon tax on fuels, from coal to gasoline to natural gas.

The original target of an 80 per cent reduction by 2050 remains, although the restructuring of the economy that would achieve that is not yet on the drawing board. The NDP government has enacted its first increase in the carbon tax effective April 1, bringing the tax on a litre of gasoline up to about eight cents.

But B.C.’s slowly escalating carbon tax has so far had little effect. The latest federal statistics, from 2015, show B.C.’s emissions remain little affected by the carbon tax. They show a slight decrease between 2005 and 2015, which is mainly attributed to the world economic crisis of 2008-10 that reduced construction as well as transportation activity, B.C.’s largest source of carbon dioxide emissions.

The new B.C. legislation includes mandatory reporting of progress, with reports every two years by a government advisory committee starting in 2020. It also requires regular reporting to the public on climate adaptation.

RELATED: B.C. NDP offers tax breaks to LNG Canada

The NDP government’s first budget in February brought in the carbon tax increase earlier than the party had promised, a demand of the B.C. Green Party for support of the minority government.

The NDP have also scrapped the provision that carbon tax increases must be offset by income tax reductions, aiming to spend the revenue on emissions-reducing projects and low-income rebates.

Heyman gave few details of how the new targets would be achieved. He said the new tax incentives B.C. is offering to LNG Canada for a large-scale liquefied natural gas export facility at Kitimat are contingent on meeting the overall target, and the Shell-backed investor group was told that.

“We have to see how we can meet an overall industrial emission target, and where any increase in certain industries would fit into that,” Heyman said. “We’re building a plan. We expect to work with all industries to see how we’re going to meet the reductions they need to make overall.”

Just Posted

Nelson and Rossland accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon pricing case

Victoria, Vancouver, Squamish, and Richmond also have intervener status

Kootenay Lake ferry labour dispute ends with ratified agreement

The deal was approved by 83 per cent of members

Rapping mom busts rhymes for Castlegar rec centre kid’s drop-in

Funny video with important message about importance of service

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

WorkSafeBC investigating serious incident at Kootenay Boundary landfill

Medical incident shut down the McKelvey Creek landfill Friday morning

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Most Read