Premier Christy Clark meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Paris climate summit last year. Both have been accused of a lack of follow-up since then.

Tree planting, gas leaks next in climate plan

No increase for carbon tax, 2020 greenhouse gas reduction abandoned as forests, natural gas industry focus of efforts

The B.C. government has given up on its 2020 goal for greenhouse gas emissions and is looking to tree planting, agricultural efforts and cleaning up the natural gas industry to reach its longer-term goals.

Premier Christy Clark announced the province’s latest plan Friday, confirming that it would not proceed with its advisory committee’s key recommendation to resume increasing its carbon tax on fuels in 2018.

That committee concluded that even with aggressive increases in the tax, the 2020 goal to reduce emissions by a third from the 2007 baseline would not be met. Clark said the other measures the government is announcing will put it on track for the 2050 goal, to eliminate 80 per cent of the province’s greenhouse gas output.

Clark said B.C. can’t keep adding to its carbon tax until other provinces catch up, or the federal government mandates a national price on carbon.

The plan targets 45 per cent reduction by 2025 in gas industry infrastructure built before 2015, to stop natural gas from escaping. It provides few details, referring to incentives and a credit program to for new industry infrastructure to reduce “fugitive and vented emissions” of unburned gas, which has 20 times the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Sybil Seitzinger, executive director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, said the plan shows B.C. has “a long way to go” in meeting its goals.

The “heavy lifting” of cutting emissions by 12 million tonnes a year will fall to the forestry and agriculture sector, but there are few details on how that will be achieved, Seitzinger said.

Susan Yerkovich, president of B.C.’s Council of Forest Industries, praised the commitment to replant and rehabilitate up to 3,000 square km of forest affected by wildfire and mountain pine beetle infestation.

NDP environment critic George Heyman said B.C. has missed targets already and now has removed targets until 2050.

“Christy Clark went to the Paris climate change negotiations with a personal videographer, but as soon as the photo opportunity passed, so did her interest,” Heyman said.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver said the government’s commitment to liquefied natural gas development is contrary to its greenhouse gas plan, with emissions from LNG processing excluded from restrictions and no more increases to the carbon tax.

 

Just Posted

Confused about breathalyzer rules? Penticton RCMP clarify

New federal impaired driving laws spark confusion, concern about breathalyzer administration

Video: New Penticton studio is a playground for creative types

We toured Penticton’s newest creator space

Balmy winter forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

El Niño is anticipated to develop later this winter

Dementia journey the long good-bye

More than 70,000 people in B.C. have been diagnosed with dementia

Grants for Okanagan youth initiatives available

Project funding of up to $2,000 available for the South and Central Okanagan

Giant rotating ice disk forms in Maine river

Ice disk that is roughly 100 yards wide has formed in the Presumpscot River

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

First Nation supporters march to Horgan’s MLA office

Dozens marched across the Greater Victoria community of Langford to support the Wet’suwet’en people

Liberal candidate steps aside after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

SUV wedged on top of parked car has Kelowna mall customers confused

The accident occurred Tuesday, no injuries were reported

Osoyoos chief earns induction to Canadian Business Hall of Fame

Osoyoos Indian Band chief recognized as one of the country’s most distinguished business leaders

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Most Read