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Big gaps in BC's climate plan, according to independent analysis

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Summary

BC has legislated a target to reduce emissions by 80 per cent over the next 30 years

Research finds carbon pollution from several areas, including LNG, will increase until 2030

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It sounds like BC has some work to do in meeting its goals of reducing carbon pollution. An independent analysis warns the province is not in a position to meet its targets anytime soon.

The analysis, released by the Pembina Institute, Climate Solutions, and Clean Energy Canada predicts combined carbon pollution from LNG and natural gas, industry and utilities, as well as transport, and buildings will increase until the year 2030, and remain at current levels until 2050. Navius Research found carbon pollution from these sources is forecast to hit 66 megatons in 2050, compared to the province’s legislated target of 12.6 megatons.

“BC has legislated a target to reduce emissions by 80 per cent over the next 30 years,” explains Matt Horne, the BC director for the Pembina Institute and an advisor on Premier Christy Clark’s recent Climate Leadership Plan. “Right now, with these projections, we’re still going to be above our current levels at 2050 so there is a huge gap [between] what we’ve said we’re going to achieve and what we’re currently on track for.”

“The results will be surprising and probably disappointing to a lot of people,” Horne predicts. “When you hear the idea of a new climate plan from the province, you expect that carbon pollution would be going down, but based on this work, BC’s carbon pollution levels are expected to continue going up until at least 2030,” adds Horne.

What about projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion? “For BC’s climate targets, it doesn’t have as much relevance,” Horne points out. “Most of the emissions from that project will either be from Alberta and the oil sands or will be from where the oil is burned and then used. The pipeline itself doesn’t have a huge amount of emissions associated with it.”

Horne advises the province really needs to, in his words, get back to the drawing board and enact new policies in order to close that gap.

Horne says emissions from LNG and natural gas are set to double between now and 2050, and warns those two sectors especially must be kept in check in order to meet BC’s climate targets.