Government introduces bill updating targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions

B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman during an announcement on May 3rd. Photo by Government of B.C./Flickr
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VICTORIA, B.C. — The provincial government has introduced legislation to update B.C.’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, setting the stage for a renewed climate action strategy to be released in the fall.

If passed by the Legislature, the Climate Change Accountability Act would replace the 2007 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act. It sets new legislated targets of a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2007 levels by 2030, and a 60 percent reduction from 2007 levels by 2040. 

The previous Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act that was passed by the BC Liberals had set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by one-third of 2007 levels by 2020. The government says the previous target of an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050 will remain.

“The act is the foundation for a credible and achievable climate action strategy in B.C.,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “The previous government, after stalling on sustained climate action for several years, admitted they could not meet their 2020 target, and those targets are repealed in this act. We aim to remove barriers, and make it attractive and affordable for people, communities and industry to move to lower-carbon alternatives. At the same time, we will grow an economy that’s stronger, cleaner, more diverse and more resilient.”

The NDP government said that climate action is an important component of its Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Green Party.

“This legislation is another step forward towards making B.C. a leader in climate action once again,” said Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party. “This is a huge opportunity to build a thriving 21st-century economy centred around innovation. I look forward to working in partnership with the government to implement a plan to reclaim this leadership, and keep our commitment to younger generations.”

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The government said its new complete climate action strategy will be released this Fall. 

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