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

The Valley Votes: Your election results

The results are in from the 2018 municipal election.

Fire destroys travel trailer in West Kelowna

Fire crews were called a blaze just after 5 p.m. Saturday

Injured hiker reported near West Kelowna

COSAR is responding to reports of an injured hiker at Blue Grouse Mountain

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

Apples the star fruit of the Kelowna farmer’s market

The second annual Apple Festival was held this morning

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

Letter: Get the facts on homeless in Kelowna

During the Journey Home process, all task force members agreed the strategy must be evidence based

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Letter: Get the facts on cannabis legalization for our kids

“Safe kids” are necessarily safe when pot is legalized

Most Read