BC government unveils its long-term climate action plan

B.C. climate plan proposes changes that will impact every part of the economy

The cost of the plan will be outlined in next year's budget, Horgan said, and officials said it will be fully funded. Nonetheless, environmentalists and business representatives applauded the plan as a good first step.

Horgan added: "With CleanBC, British Columbia is rising to the challenge of climate change".

"We want to make shifts: shifts in our homes, shifts in our vehicles, shifts in our industry to move away from burning fossil fuels and towards a cleaner, greener approach using British Columbia's abundant electricity and other abundant opportunities that are now emerging and will emerge into the future", the premier said.

The province's carbon emissions today are about 60 megatonnes.

She said B.C. now emits about 63 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually and its goal is to get that number down to about 13 megatonnes by 2050.

Four megatonnes will be cut by switching to cleaner fuels at the gas pump.

The switch to cleaner energy means increased biofuel consumption and a shift to hydro-generated electricity. Some of this can be accomplished by increasing the amount of renewable fuel that is blended with liquid fuels.

For the built environment, the plan calls for retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient and phasing out natural gas for heating buildings.

Weaver's party has an agreement that supports the province's minority NDP government and he shared the stage with Horgan in making the announcement.

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Heyman said coming legislation will require annual reporting on the success of the government's programs, the amount of money it has spent on them, updated carbon emission projections and verification of reductions.

The goals of the plan are to make B.C. the cleanest jurisdiction in the world, while the province's industry remains competitive, even during the transition, reporters were told in a technical briefing. Remaining reduction initiatives will be quantified over the next 18 to 24 months.

Vernon said she's looking forward to seeing the complete plan beyond 75 per cent.

The clean growth plan includes "ringfencing" of carbon taxes for industry. "We need to begin changing how we live, work and commute to put B.C. on a cleaner, more sustainable path". "I'm greatly encouraged by the spirit of hope and collaboration with which this plan was written", said Weaver, a climate scientist. "This is about sending a message to the worldwide community that B.C.is going to rise to this challenge".

That is one part of a larger government plan to reduce emissions by 40 per cent by 2030.

This graph illustrates the predicted reductions in greenhouses gases in B.C. under the CleanBC plan. Validators quoted in government background material included representatives of environmental groups, the Business Council of B.C., labour and academia.

But a Pembina Institute spokesperson said B.C. will have a long way to go to meet pollution targets after LNG Canada announced in Oct.it will proceed with operation plans of a $40 billion export terminal in Kitimat.

Stephen Cornish, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation, said most British Columbians know climate change is harming us now and we need to respond.

Premier John Horgan unveiled on Wednesday the CleanBC program, which is billed as an innovative climate action plan unlike anything else in Canada. "British Columbians can be proud to be at the forefront of landmark solutions for transportation and renewable energy".

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