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

Last of southern Selkirk caribou relocated to Revelstoke area

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

How to stay safe in the Nakusp backcountry: BCSARA

The B.C. Search and Rescue Association recommends planning, training and taking the essentials

Skier caught in backcountry avalanche near Rossland

‘The man was lucky he had the ‘A-Team’ of ski patrol people able to respond as quickly as they did,’ says Rossland rescue spokesperson

Kootenays unemployment rate best in B.C.

In one year, the region has gone from highest unemployment rate to lowest, at 3.1 per cent

Nakusp search and rescue group seeks volunteers

Senior Nakusp SAR member Ross Shkuratoff says the group is on the lookout for new members

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Most Read