The Government of British Columbia has introduced legislation to update the Province’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, setting the stage for a renewed climate action strategy to be released in the fall.
The Climate Change Accountability Act replaces the 2007 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction Targets Act. It sets new legislated targets of a 40% reduction in carbon emissions from 2007 levels by 2030, and a 60% reduction from 2007 levels by 2040. The current target of an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 remains. The legislation will provide a framework to develop detailed climate-change adaptation reports. The Province will work with the broader public sector on these requirements. The legislation also enables the minister to set sectoral GHG emission reduction targets.
“The act is the foundation for a credible and achievable climate action strategy in B.C.,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “The previous government, after stalling on sustained climate action for several years, admitted they could not meet their 2020 target, and those targets are repealed in this act.
“We aim to remove barriers, and make it attractive and affordable for people, communities and industry to move to lower-carbon alternatives. At the same time, we will grow an economy that’s stronger, cleaner, more diverse and more resilient.”
Climate action is an important component of the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the B.C. Green Party caucus.
“This legislation is another step forward towards making B.C. a leader in climate action once again,” said Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party. “This is a huge opportunity to build a thriving 21st-century economy centred around innovation. I look forward to working in partnership with the government to implement a plan to reclaim this leadership, and keep our commitment to younger generations.”
The Province’s climate action strategy will be released in autumn 2018. Actions to reduce the provincial GHG emissions will include establishing sectoral plans for buildings and communities, industry and transportation sectors.
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