New B.C. strategy on climate action and a low-carbon economy unveiled

The BC Government says it's new climate action plan introduced today will make the province the "cleanest jurisdiction in the world."

It lays out goals to reduce climate pollution by cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, 60% by 2040, and 80% by 2050. 

It also calls for all new homes and buildings to be energy efficient, and ramps up funding for renovations and energy retrofits to existing homes and offices.  That includes $400-million to upgrade B.C.'s stock of publicly funded housing.

The plan calls for boosting energy-efficient solutions like zero-emission vehicles and home heat pumps; and generating more clean electricity and renewable fuels, and less oil and gas.

The Clean BC plan aims to ensure all new homes and buildings will be low carbon, that there will be more electric vehicles on the roads with a goal of zero emissions in BC within 20 years, and commits the province to generate more clean electricity and renewable fuels, and burn less oil and gas.

Premier John Horgan says it's not just a climate plan, it's an economic plan, that will create jobs and opportunities to make life better and more affordable for British Columbians.

" This is an environment plan, it's an climate plan, but it's also an economic strategy for British Columbia going forward. We have in abundance clean green options for investment. We have in abundance an extraordinary workforce committed and focused on addressing this challenge."

Horgan credits a former Liberal premier for implementing the first carbon price on the continent:

" I want to pay tribute to Premier Gordon Campbell who had the courage to implement the carbon price, the first in North America. Without that first step we would not be here today having this discussion about a plan that would address our legislated climate goals of reducing our emissions by 2030, by 2040, and then by 80% by 2050. So that leadership was fundamental to getting us here today."

The Clean BC plan is fully funded by the Province and sets a goal to eliminate 18.9 megatonnes of emissions, or about 75% of the target. The government will be unveiling more reduction initiatives in the next 18 to 24 months.

BC Green Leader, and climate scientist, Andrew Weaver had significant input into the Clean BC plan.  Speaking at the unveiling he says he is proud to have participated in creating it:

" This is a really, really big event for me. This reflects, in my view, a culmination of a life's work as a climate scientist, to step aside from that, to try to get British Columbia back on track as a leader in global warming.  And I'm absolutely thrilled to have been able to work with Minister of Environment, George Heyman, and our Premier, John Horgan, who frankly took this issue seriously."

Weaver says the plan does more than address climate pollution, it also builds a low-carbon economy by  attracting and retaining companies trying to brand themselves as "clean" in the new economy.

 

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