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

Crews respond to near drowning at Thetis Lake

Man taken to hospital after calls come in of drowning in progress

PHOTOS: Thousands raised for cancer at second annual Gala for Hope

Victoria Fire Department’s fundraiser a success ahead of Ride to Conquer Cancer

Vet services for Victoria’s pets of the homeless cancelled for first time in a decade

Vets for Pets faces a volunteer shortage that’s forced the group to cancel its recent service

Wooldog among mysteries uncovered with powerful UVic microscope

Finding ‘Mutton,’ a dog lost in a Smithsonian drawer for 150 years

Optometrist pedals through depression, leads others for the cause

Ride Don’t Hide bike rides start, end at Windsor Park

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read