The Province is setting a new near-term emission target for 2025 to keep B.C. on track to reducing carbon pollution, supported by a new 2020 Climate Change Accountability Report detailing CleanBC action.
“Across the province, people are working every day to tackle climate change and make our economy cleaner and stronger,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “It’s clear we still have much more to do in order to meet our CleanBC targets – and I won’t be satisfied until we see a significant and steady decline in emissions. To make sure we stay on track to build a cleaner and stronger future, we’re putting in place a new near-term emission target that is both ambitious and achievable. This is another key step on the path to reaching our climate targets for 2030 and beyond.
“We’re also sharing the details of our climate actions, plans and ideas in the first annual Climate Change Accountability Report to be tabled by the legislature, part of the groundbreaking climate accountability rules we adopted last year. The report shows that finalizing the detailed roadmap to our full 2030 emission targets has been more challenging than we thought when we released CleanBC two years ago. We are not there yet, but by working hard on our plans to reduce emissions in industry, heavy-duty transport and buildings, and by working with the Climate Solutions Council on its thoughtful recommendations, I believe we will complete this commitment next year.”
The new emission target requires greenhouse gases in B.C. to be 16% below 2007 levels by 2025. It provides a benchmark on the road to B.C.’s legislated emission targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050 of 40%, 60% and 80% below 2007 levels, respectively. The Province will also set sectoral targets, which will be established before March 31, 2021, and will develop legislation to ensure B.C. reaches net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Accountability is only meaningful if it leads to improvement and greater action to address the climate crisis,” said Colleen Giroux-Schmidt, co-chair of the new Climate Solutions Council and vice-president of corporate relations for Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. “The council, like the Province, knows that action and accountability go together. The most recent emission data does not take into consideration the impact of CleanBC programs, but we must not wait to see the result when we know more action is required to achieve our goal of a cleaner, more sustainable world.”
The annual report is the first of its kind, released as a commitment under the Climate Change Accountability Act, which legally requires the current and all future governments to submit a detailed report on climate action progress to the B.C. legislature. The report includes detailed information on CleanBC actions over the 2019-20 period to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build a cleaner economy and prepare for the impacts of climate change, as well as the advice and comment of the independent Climate Solutions Council.
“British Columbia has put in place a rigorous system of accountability and reporting that will help ensure we reach our emission targets and build a clean economy,” said Merran Smith, co-chair of B.C.’s Climate Solutions Council and executive director of Clean Energy Canada. “The introduction of an interim target strengthens that commitment. Clearly all sectors have more work to do to close the gap.”
CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. It supports government’s commitment to climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets and build a cleaner, stronger economy for everyone.
- The Climate Change Accountability Report provides data on progress made through CleanBC in sectors like transportation, industry, buildings and communities and the public service.
- For example:
- Nearly 9% of light-duty vehicle sales in B.C. were zero-emission vehicles in 2019, almost meeting B.C.’s goal of 10% by 2025 six years early.
- B.C. has more than 2,000 public Level 2 charging stations and 190 public fast-charging sites (a 55% increase over 2018) throughout the province.
- The percentage of households using heat pumps increased to 10% in 2019 – up from 3% in 2007.
- Reported fugitive and vented methane emissions in the upstream oil and gas sector in 2019 were down 11% since 2014.
- The Climate Change Accountability Report provides new estimates for provincial emissions for the next four reporting years (2019-22) and modelling of the estimated impacts of CleanBC actions by 2030.
- While CleanBC programs are on track to show emission reductions in future years, the latest forecast shows a bigger gap to B.C.’s 2030 emission targets due in large part to changes in the most recent provincial emission inventory for 2018.
- The 2018 inventory incorporated changes in data and methodology from the federal government that lowered B.C.’s 2007 baseline year and increased emission estimates from 2017.
- The 2018 inventory data covered a period of time that largely preceded the launch of CleanBC in December 2018.
Read the 2020 Climate Change Accountability Report online: www.cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/2020accountabilityreport
To learn more about CleanBC, visit: www.cleanbc.gov.bc.ca
A backgrounder follows.