CleanBC plan to reduce climate pollution, build a low-carbon economy: Horgan

CleanBC plan to reduce climate pollution, build a low-carbon economy: Horgan

The government also recently announced a zero emission vehicle mandate that will require 10% of all new auto sales to be low-emission vehicles (electric or hydrogen fuel cell) by 2025.

They include a low carbon fuel standards, which has been in place for years in B.C. and subsidies for electric vehicles.

The goals of the plan are to make B.C. the cleanest jurisdiction in the world, while the province's industry remains competitive, even during the transition, reporters were told in a technical briefing.

Premier John Horgan called the Clean B.C. plan a "great step forward" that would make life better for generations that follow.

All the measures combined are meant to help the province meet its legislated climate target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 per cent of 2007 levels by 2030, but Premier John Horgan stressed they are not doing so at the expense of industry and jobs.

She said now, the province emits 63 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, which would need to drop to 13 megatonnes by 2050 to meet the province's goals.

"Honestly, I don't think it needs to be a one or the other (electricity vs fossil fuels)".

The British Columbia government today outlined how it will get most of the way to meeting its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets over the coming decades. That, combined with more charging stations, will cut 1.3 megatonnes by 2030, the government said. As the price rises, CleanBC will offer tax reduction incentives to further reduce emissions, and a carbon tax exemption for any company that proves it's the cleanest in its sector globally.

There are measures to require cleaner fuels, promote the electrification of industry and encourage carbon capture.

The government's plan calls for more electrification of the gas fields of northeastern B.C. That will require an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in new transmission lines.

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- The strategy will require an additional 4,000 gigawatt hours of electricity over current demand, equal to increasing BC Hydro's current system-wide capacity by about eight per cent, or about the demand by consumers in Vancouver.

How the province will achieve one quarter of its emission reductions is still unclear. Remaining reduction initiatives will be quantified over the next 18 to 24 months.

Some environmental groups backed parts of the plan but questioned how the future liquefied natural gas industry fits into it.

Vernon said she's looking forward to seeing the complete plan beyond 75 per cent.

"This is not only a climate plan, this is an economic plan, and that's what's so exciting about what's being announced today", he said.

The plan has also been applauded by the Pembina Institute and the Sierra Club.

The Province said it is committed to giving people the skills they need to thrive in the low-carbon economy.

Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart, Washington State governor Jay Inslee, Oregon governor Kate Brown, federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Union of BC Indian Chiefs president Stewart Phillip were all also quoted supporting the plan.

BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist, said he has spent much of his life consumed with the issue of climate change, and this plan fulfills his ambitions: "This is a really big event, this reflects in my view the cumulation of a life's work ... to try to get British Columbia back on track as a climate leader". A previous version said net-zero energy buildings would generate enough on-site energy to power their own functions.

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