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

Discussion centres on the future of English Grade 8 at RSS

Parents met with the principal to discuss the future of English Grade 8 at Rossland Summit School.

Rossland St. Andrew’s United Church planning for restoration

Rossland’s United Church has received a CBT grant to support a restoration of the Red Roof Church.

Interior Health facilities score high in housekeeping audits

Housekeeping audits for health facilities in the region show most are above the auditor’s benchmark.

RCMP urge drivers to be more cautious

The top causes of accidents in the West Kootenay are distracted driving, impaired driving and speed.

FortisBC explains rate change proposal

FortisBC met with customers in Castlegar to explain their new time-of-use rate proposal.

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Most Read