Tuesday, February 13, 2007

British Columbia's Bold Plan

British Columbia offers bold emissions plan:
By comparison, under the Kyoto accord Canada is committed to a six per cent cut in greenhouse emissions from 1990 levels by 2012.

The province's green targets were outlined in a throne speech marking the start of the legislative session.

"It is an aggressive target and will set a new standard," said Lt.-Gov. Iona Campagnolo, who read the 42-page speech dominated by the government's new environmental agenda.

The Liberal government's plan aims to reduce B.C.'s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 33 per cent below today's levels by 2020, Campagnolo said.

The target will place B.C.'s greenhouse gas emissions at 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, she said.

"Because our emissions have grown so much since 1990, our task of reducing emissions in percentage terms will be that much more difficult."

Mostly talk at this stage, it's hard not to applaud such ambitious targets. British Columbia's emissions have grown more than the national average, which makes Kyoto like targets all the more impressive. I guess British Columbian's should prepare for inevitable economic ruin that such irrational targets suggest. Applause.

UPDATE:
Hard not to like any of this:
Giving the dog a bone-• Extend a $2,000 sales tax exemption to anyone who buys a hybrid vehicle.

“Moving to a hybrid car from a four-wheel-drive SUV can cut personal transportation emissions by up to 70 per cent overnight,” the government says. “Beginning this month, all new cars leased or purchased by the provincial government will be hybrid vehicles.”


The government is now telling B.C. Hydro that “all new and existing electricity produced in B.C. will be required to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2016.”

That appears to mean a tougher approach to two proposed coal-fired generation stations B.C. Hydro has been proposing, the first such coal-fired generation stations in the province. The Liberal government says B.C. “will become the first jurisdiction in North America, if not the world, to require 100 per cent carbon sequestration for any coal-fired project.”

Under the new energy plan [which will be unveiled in the weeks ahead], British Columbia will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas industry to 2000 levels by 2016,” said the government. “That will include a requirement for zero flaring at producing wells and production facilities.”

Landfills are also going to be told to clean up. The government says it will bring in a law that will phase in technology to capture the methane gas coming from dumps, representing about nine per cent of B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions.

With 40 per cent of B.C.’s carbon emissions coming from transportation, mainly cars, the automobile is also a key focus in the government’s plan. Consumers will be forced to buy new cars that are cleaner and burn less fuel.

“New tailpipe emission standards for all new vehicles sold in B.C. will be phased in over the period 2009 to 2016,” the speech said. “Those standards will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by some 30 per cent for automobiles.”

With 40 per cent of B.C.’s carbon emissions coming from transportation, mainly cars, the automobile is also a key focus in the government’s plan. Consumers will be forced to buy new cars that are cleaner and burn less fuel.

“New tailpipe emission standards for all new vehicles sold in B.C. will be phased in over the period 2009 to 2016,” the speech said. “Those standards will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by some 30 per cent for automobiles.”

Somebody gets it, they really get it :)

5 comments:

Dana said...

Mostly talk it may be but Campbell's talk has almost always translated into action that comes reasonably close to the tenor of the talk. Almost always I've been opposed to what he both says and does but today I am impressed and heartened.

Mushroom said...

With Christy Clark and Joyce Murray joining Dion on the Liberal front benches soon, the Grits are slowly starting to flush their environmental policy into something concrete.

Miles Lunn said...

This sounds ambitious and no doubt won't be easy, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. I hope other provinces follow too and the federal government as well follows. I think Gordon Campbell will do all he can to achieve the targets and although he won't be premier by then, there will be a lot of pressure on his successor, whoever they may be and whatever party it is to follow through.

Considering the BC Liberals are a coalition of federal Liberals and Conservatives, I hope some of the federal Conservatives active in the BC Liberals put the same pressure on the federal government.

rockfish said...

With this gov't its about reserving judgement, since there has been a lot of high fallutin' promises in the past -- they were going to fix health care, too, in the last throne speech. Finance minister Taylor, a true liberal, has done some amazing things but there are too many pin-striped tories in this group.
While it may be refreshing to hear some people on the right now taking up the environmental torch, the worry is that they are just co-opting the message with the intention to tamper lightly, making sure profit margins remain the same on the same ol' industrial evils... For these kinds of politicians, its about one mandate at a time.

Mark Dowling said...

I have been critical of Campbell's doings on the environment and remain so - those coal plants should be cancelled not offset.

Carbon sequestration is laudable but when you're talking coal you are also talking about particulates, about sulphur and about mercury. Planting trees won't help mercury and could be hindered by rain containing sulphur acids.