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Pembina Institute assessment shows huge gap in B.C.’s carbon pollution targets

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VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, Pembina Institute, and Clean Energy Canada released an independent assessment of the province’s Climate Leadership Plan in combination with the federal government’s recently announced carbon price schedule.

In an analysis prepared by Navius Research, the assessment projects that the combined carbon pollution from all sources in the province will increase until the year 2030, and remain above current levels until at least 2050. Carbon pollution is forecast to hit 66 megatonnes in 2050, compared to the province’s legislated target of 12.6 megatonnes.

Navius’ modelling did not incorporate the province’s planned commitment to increase the amount of carbon stored in B.C.’s forests. Based on the government’s estimates, these actions could close the projected 53-megatonne gap to 41 megatonnes by 2050. The province’s legislated emissions targets are 43.5 Mt in 2020 and 12.6 Mt in 2050. In the Climate Leadership Plan released in August, the government renewed its commitment to meeting the 2050 target. Under the plan, fossil fuels will continue to supply the majority of the province’s energy until at least 2030. B.C.’s annual carbon pollution is projected to hit 68 megatonnes in 2030 under B.C.’s climate plan — an increase of eight megatonnes from today, or the equivalent to adding two million cars to the province’s roads.

Growing carbon pollution from LNG and upstream shale gas operations constitutes the largest contributor to the size of the gap. The Pembina Institute’s assessment finds that carbon pollution from LNG and natural gas is projected to double by 2050 relative to today’s levels. Carbon pollution from transport and buildings is forecast to see respective declines of 35 and 50 percent in the same period.

The Pembina Institute says that achieve B.C.’s 2050 carbon pollution target and help meet the country’s Paris Agreement commitments for 2030, the province will need to further develop the policies and make the investments promised in the current plan.

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