The Government of B.C. released details of CleanBC’s Roadmap to 2030 climate plan last week. B.C. has a legislated target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 40 per cent below 2007 levels by 2030, and this Roadmap outlines how they plan on accomplishing that. I applaud the government on portions of their plan; those which consider GHG emissions from transportation, buildings, and community. Measures like requiring all new buildings to be zero carbon, and all new space and water heating equipment to meet the highest standards for efficiency will encourage better development for a robust future in B.C.
Despite all previous plans, B.C. emissions continue to rise, and I’m left wondering if this plan will be any different. The Roadmap lacks a firm commitment to end the deep-well royalty credit program and to phase out all fossil fuel subsidies, while it continues to allow for the development of natural gas. The LNG Canda project alone is expected to emit almost nine megatonnes of GHG/year by 2030; 20 per cent of our 2030 emissions goal. This failure to take a leadership position in a transition away from reliance on fossil fuels is a missed opportunity. This will slow our transition to truly clean renewables and will likely result in B.C. missing its 2030 GHG emission reduction targets.
Lastly, I’m left wondering, even if this plan succeeds, is it enough? Is Canada doing its share? We have enjoyed the benefits of fossil fuels for quite some time. Is it now time to take more responsibility as a Nation? The United Nations emissions gap report warns that worldwide we need to reduce our emissions by 55 per cent by 2030 to keep warming below 1.5 degrees. Current commitments from countries will only reduce GHG emissions by 7.5 per cent. That is quite a gap!
The ClimateBC Roadmap to 2030 is a good start towards reducing our GHG emissions, but I would have preferred to see more.
Tracy Flynn, Fairmont