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Original News Release





Aug. 6, 2008

Office of the Premier

Ministry of Environment






British Columbia’s Climate Action Team was established in November 2007 to help the government reduce provincial greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020. The team’s mandate is threefold:

·        To offer expert advice to the Cabinet Committee on Climate Action on the most credible, aggressive and economically viable targets possible for 2012 and 2016.

·        To identify further actions in the short and medium term to reduce emissions and meet the 2020 target.

·        To provide advice on the provincial government’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2010.




Pricing Emissions

1.      Government should review progress related to B.C.’s emissions targets, the impact of existing policy measures, actions by other jurisdictions to price emissions, and key economic factors like the cost of oil. Based on this data and recognizing the impact of emissions pricing as a core policy for emissions reduction, the government should:

1.1.   After 2012, if required to achieve the emissions targets, increase the British Columbia carbon tax in a manner that aligns with the policies of other jurisdictions and key economic factors.

1.2.   By 2012, either expand the carbon tax to cover all greenhouse gas emissions – including those from industrial processes – or include these additional emissions as part of a cap and trade system. Again, this should be done in light of progress toward B.C.’s reduction target, policies of other jurisdictions, and key economic factors.

2.      Revenues from the carbon tax should continue to be offset by equivalent reductions in personal, corporate and small business tax rates. Support for low-income families should be continued.


Public Engagement and Outreach

3.      In collaboration with public and private partners, develop a comprehensive, multidimensional public engagement and outreach campaign that will: 1) educate British Columbians about the importance of climate change and the policies that are necessary to address this issue, 2) help British Columbians reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the most efficient way possible, and 3) make British Columbians aware of the incentives and savings available when they take action to address climate change.



4.      To further reduce emissions from all fossil fuel-based forms of transportation, increase the low-carbon fuel standard from 10 per cent to 15 per cent by 2020.

5.      Introduce program and policy measures to improve the efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles, including niche-market regulation.

6.      Remove barriers to improve the efficiency of port operations and explore such options as shifting traffic to off-peak hours, reducing the number of one-way truck movements, and optimizing the use of Prince Rupert and Vancouver Ports.

7.      Enhance the role of rail in moving freight in B.C.

8.      Work with the other partners in the Western Climate Initiative to include emissions from air travel in the new cap and trade system currently under development. Mandatory carbon-credit payments at points of air travel to offset emissions associated with air travel could be considered should the proposed cap and trade system not be in place by January 2012.



9.      Update B.C.’s Green Building Code at least every three years to ensure the B.C. code is a leader among North American energy codes.

10.  Work with local governments on a strategy to ensure a high level of compliance with energy codes through proper building code enforcement in all areas of the province.

11.  Introduce new regulations under B.C.’s Energy Efficiency Act to adopt leading North American and international standards. B.C. should also consider portfolio standard approaches to improve the energy performance of appliances and equipment.

12.  Require that, by 2016, all new publicly-funded buildings in the province have net-zero GHG emissions and that by 2020 all new houses and buildings in the province have net-zero GHG emissions.

13.  By no later than 2012, require all houses and buildings to have a current energy efficiency rating or label when they are sold or transferred.

14.  Introduce an aggressive energy efficiency and renewable energy program for houses and buildings, combining incentive and regulatory approaches and co-ordinated across governments and utilities.



15.  Build generation and transmission capacity for clean and renewable electricity and create a surplus.

16.  Create a conservation culture to ensure energy efficiency.

17.  Introduce policies and regulations to promote electrification in new oil and gas developments.

18.  Accelerate carbon capture and storage deployment.



19.  Create a cap and trade system that will place a hard cap on large industrial emitters (e.g., through partnerships such as the Western Climate Initiative) or expand the carbon tax to apply to all greenhouse gas emissions, including those from industrial processes by 2012. Ensure the method chosen is consistent with the province’s 33 per cent reduction target.



20.  Ensure that rural and remote communities have continued access to energy efficiency and clean energy programs and incentives, and access to training to support local green jobs.

21.  Create a regulatory regime that encourages compact, smart community development.

22.  Double the transportation mode share of cycling and walking by 2020.

23.  Take steps to ensure that federal and provincial infrastructure funding for communities is directly tied to demonstrated progress towards achieving complete, compact and energy-efficient communities.



24.  Identify and remove regulatory and institutional barriers to clean energy development in the agricultural industry.

25.  Work with industry to identify and implement mitigation and adaptation solutions tailored to British Columbia’s environment and agricultural markets.



26.  By 2020, B.C. ends its growing dependency on disposing municipal solid waste in landfills both here and the United States, through a strategy that is based on requiring that the pollution prevention hierarchy (reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, residuals management) be considered in waste-management planning and requiring the management of waste as close to the source as possible.


Forest Sector

27.  Include forests, land use, the forest-product sector, bioenergy and other renewable wood-derived bio-products in the government’s climate action strategy. This should be done with the involvement of stakeholders in a full assessment of mitigation options in terms of greenhouse gas benefits, biodiversity values and other co-benefits.


Carbon-Neutral Government

28.  Amend the Province’s Core Policy and Procedures Manual to emphasize that, when determining the lowest price by a qualified bidder, the government take into account the full lifecycle cost of the goods or services being procured.

29.  Remove capital funding restrictions limiting the ability of the public-sector to fund strategic energy retrofits that will achieve significant energy conservation, GHG reductions and operating cost savings.


Interim Targets

30.  By 2012, the growth in emissions must be reversed and emissions must begin to decline significantly, to between five and seven per cent below 2007 levels.

31.  By 2016, the decline in emissions needs to accelerate. In order to ensure that B.C.’s 2020 target can be reached, emissions should fall to between 15 and 18 per cent below 2007 levels by 2016.




The report is posted to for public comment for the next 60 days (until Monday, Oct. 6, 2008).


In October, government will publish a summary of the public comments received.


The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act requires that the Minister of Environment set interim targets for 2012 and 2016 by Dec. 31, 2008.






Kate Thompson

Ministry of Environment

250 953-4577


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