The provincial government has just revealed its long-term climate action plan – a key point in the power-sharing agreement between the Green Party and the NDP.
“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,” said Premier John Horgan.
“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.”
The new CleanBC plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in BC by 40% by the year 2030. To do so, the government is prioritizing the following:
- Reducing climate pollution by shifting homes, vehicles, industry and business off burning fossil fuels and toward greater use of clean B.C. electricity and other renewable energies;
- Boosting energy-efficient solutions, like zero-emission vehicles and home heat pumps, by making them more affordable and available for British Columbians; and
- Becoming a destination for new investment and industry looking to meet the growing global demand for low-carbon products, services and pollution-reducing technologies.
“With CleanBC, British Columbia is rising to the challenge of climate change,” Premier Horgan said. “We need to begin changing how we live, work and commute to put B.C. on a cleaner, more sustainable path.”
Here’s what the plan will look like for British Columbians on the ground:
- By 2040, every new car sold in B.C. will be required to be zero-emission.
- The province will switch to cleaner fuels at gas pumps, with further reductions to carbon intensity.
- New buildings constructed in the province will be required to be ‘net-zero energy ready’ by 2032. For now, all new buildings have to be more energy efficient, and BC is spending $400 million to support retrofits and upgrades for publicly funded housing.
- Government will help people reduce residential and industrial organic waste, turning it into a clean resource.
- Province is helping industry lower its emissions and reduce its pollution.
Another aspect of the CleanBC initiative is to implement a labour readiness plan that will address workplace opportunities that emerge as a result of the project.
Within minutes of the NDP-Green Party unveiling their new climate action plan, the BC Liberals issued a statement criticizing it for being too similar to the plan they had drawn up in 2015.
“The devil’s in the details and they won’t show us the details until next year’s budget. It makes you question why it took the NDP and Greens a year to come up with a plan that is so similar to the one we originally designed,” reads a statement from BC Liberal Environment critic Peter Milobar.
“The challenge for the government will be to address the missing 25 per cent of targeted emissions. For that, there is a profound lack of detail, and looks like yet another stalling tactic by the NDP.”
Milobar also critiques the plan for not addressing the future of the LNG industry in BC, and for failing to indicate whether or not the new energy-efficient building code changes will increase housing costs for residents.