BC Climate Target Achievable but Action Needed

Vancouver, Canada (Pembina Institute) - A report released today by the Pembina Institute finds that, without additional government action, British Columbia will miss its stated greenhouse gas reduction target by more than 30 million tonnes. The report, however, lists strategies to achieve the reduction.

In its Speech From The Throne earlier this year, the B.C. government announced that it would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. by 33 per cent (36 million tonnes) or more below current levels by 2020. In Mind the Gap: A Blueprint for Climate Action in British Columbia, the Pembina Institute has studied the province’s current climate change plans and concluded they will reduce emissions by less than six per cent, or about five million tonnes. That is a gap of more than 30 million tonnes.

Matt Horne, Senior Analyst with the Pembina Institute, says, “Five million tonnes is a good start, but the province has a long way to go to meet its commitment. We look forward to giving the government more credit as it takes action to generate reductions.”

In Mind the Gap, the Pembina Institute first studied government commitments for action in six sectors across B.C.: business and industry; oil and gas; personal transportation; homes and buildings; waste and agriculture; and electricity. It then quantified strategies for possible emissions reductions by 2020 in each sector. The report makes specific recommendations as to how the reductions can be achieved.

Mind the Gap concludes that new strategies and innovations could yield an additional 34 million tonnes if acted upon soon. “We’ve crunched the best numbers we could find, and they show that achieving the reduction is possible,” says Karen Campbell, B.C. Policy Director. “But it is going to mean some significant changes in the way we do business and the way we live in this province. The report lists them.”

The authors were careful to note that the real leadership must continue to come from the B.C. government. “Strategies for reductions do exist, but have yet to see the strong policy actions – regulations, emissions pricing and more – that are essential to ensure that polluting our atmosphere with greenhouse gases is no longer free,” Horne says.

“We are glad that the B.C. government says it’s serious about stopping global warming, but we’ve discovered a large gap between its stated goals and its commitments,” says Campbell. “Now is the time to start minding that gap.”

The report is available at www.pembina.org.

For More Information: Pembina Institute

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