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

Local figure skater wins prestigious award

Sparwood’s Bree Chardonnens named B.C./Yukon STARSkate Athlete Of The Year

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

Elk Valley water monitoring program expanding

Elk River Alliance to monitor Boivin and Coal creeks based on community feedback

Fruitvale man, 25, dies after falling from zipline in Thailand, reports say

Bangkok Post says man fell from Flight of the Gibbon zipline in Chiang Mai

Daughters of the Vote eye opening for Fernie woman

McKinley Richards reflects on leadership program and the protest that made national headlines

UPDATE: Four victims identified in deadly Penticton shooting spree

John Brittain, 68, faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

GALLERY: Fernie Stoke Fest a smashing success

2019 event attracts sellout crowd to Fernie Community Centre April 6

Dedicated Sparwood volunteer honoured

Elk Valley Thrift Shop Society manager to receive 2019 BC Achievement Community Award

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select sailings

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries will be available on the Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Elizabeth May’s B.C. wedding will be a ‘low carbon affair’ on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Most Read