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Wildfires affecting B.C.'s CO2 emissions: environmental group

A smoky haze looms over Vancouver, Aug. 19, 2018. (Photo via twitter, @MetroVancouver)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As the province implements its ambitious new plan to cut CO2 emissions, an environmental group says a huge part of the problem is being ignored: wildfires.

Based on initial data on the record 2017 wildfire season, Sierra Club BC estimates the amount of carbon dumped into the atmosphere from all those fires was roughly three times higher than what was officially reported.

“We are calling on the B.C. government to develop forest emissions report with detailed information and a plan on how to reduce these emissions,” says Jens Wieting with Sierra Club. “They have to increase funding to reduce the risk of fire even further.”

WATCH: Smoke from B.C. wildfires chokes Alberta

 

He says every dollar spent to reduce the risk of wildfires will benefit the environment.

Wieting says that plan should include a ban on so-called slash burning and phasing out logging of old-growth forest, the group also wants to see better data on how much carbon these record fire seasons are dumping into the atmosphere.

The provincial government is aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent from 2007 levels by the year 2030.