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B.C. Government releases climate change plan

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The Government of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, has released its CleanBC plan, which aims to reduce climate pollution and build a low-carbon economy, while still creating more jobs and opportunities for people and businesses.

Premier John Horgan said: “The low-carbon economy we build together will bring opportunities and jobs throughout the province, so people can live and work with greater security in the communities they call home.

“By moving to clean, renewable energy – like our abundant supply of B.C. electricity – we can power our growing economy and make life better and more affordable for British Columbians.”

According to the statement, the plan aims to:

  • Reduce climate pollution by transitioning homes, vehicles, industry and business off burning fuels and towards the greater use of clean electricity and renewable energy.
  • Boost energy-efficient solutions, such as zero-emission vehicles and home heat pumps, by making them more affordable.
  • Become a destination for new investment and industry looking to meet the growing global demand for low carbon products, services and pollution reducing technologies.

The plan has been formulated as a way to achieve the province’s legislated climate targets of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% by 2030, based on 2007 levels. The plan describes and quantifies measures that will eliminate 18.9 megatonnes of its 2030 target. Remaining reduction initiatives will be quantified over the following 18 – 24 months.

Horgan added: “With CleanBC, British Columbia is rising to the challenge of climate change.

“Every year, we’re seeing the unprecedented wildfires and floods that hurt so many people, communities and businesses. We need to begin changing how we live, work and commute to put B.C. on a cleaner, more sustainable path.”

Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green caucus and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, added: “CleanBC will position our province for success as the world transitions to low-carbon solutions.

“It is a testament to what we can accomplish when we recognise our shared values and commit to working together. I look forward to working with government, business and other stakeholders to action this plan, so that British Columbians can count on a bright future where all our communities enjoy a thriving economy and a high quality of life for generations to come.”

Highlights of the new CleanBC plan include the following:

  • By 2040, every new car sold in the province will be a zero-emission vehicle. The government is helping people to afford cleaner cars and save money on fuel with incentive programmes, and making it easier to charge/fuel them. 1.3 megatonnes of carbon pollution reduce by 2030.
  • The Province is helping to speed up the switch to cleaner fuels at the gas pump, with further reductions to the carbon intensity of transportation fuels: 4 megatonnes of carbon pollution reduced by 2030.
  • Every new building built in B.C. will be ‘net-zero energy ready’ by 2032. Along the way, government is requiring new buildings to be more efficient, and ramping up funding for renovations and energy retrofits to existing homes and offices, including CAN$400 million to support retrofits and upgrades for the province’s stock of publicly funded housing: 2.0 megatonnes of carbon pollution reduced by 2030.
  • Government is helping B.C. to reduce residential and industrial organic waste, turning it into a clean resource: 0.7 megatonnes of carbon pollution reduced by 2030.
  • The province is helping industry lower its emissions and reduce its pollution: 8.4 megatonnes of carbon pollution reduced by 2030.

George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, said: “CleanBC is a B.C.-specific approach to making our communities strong and vibrant for decades to come as we rise to the challenge of global climate change.

“We can build a low-carbon economy that includes all sectors and all workers. Together, we can protect our children’s future, while making life more affordable today.”

Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, added: “We can make things more efficient, use less energy and waste less, while we make sure that the energy we use is clean and made in B.C.

“We look forward to continuing our work with resource industries that have been taking action over the last two decades to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that are embracing the responsibility to do more.”

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