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B.C.’s new climate target will help keep province on track, but highlights work to be done

VICTORIA — Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the B.C. government’s new 2020 Climate Change Accountability Report and climate target:

“B.C. has emerged as not only a Canadian leader but a world leader when it comes to climate action. It was the first government in North American to price pollution, the first to legislate a ban on the sale of gas-powered vehicles, and it was among the first to make its emissions targets legally binding.

“B.C.’s climate leadership hinges on a new, rigorous system of climate reporting and accountability, which means celebrating our successes while also acknowledging—and acting—when more needs to be done. Climate policies are only as successful as the results they accomplish.

“While the B.C. government’s new goal of reducing emissions by 16% below 2007 levels by 2025 is a commendable start, it’s also a reminder of how far the province has to go to reach its 2030 goal of 40%. Emissions have been heading in the wrong direction, and we certainly hope we don’t have to say that again next year. We look forward to seeing the province’s updated plan, due next year, for how it will reach these targets. 

“Polling shows that the vast majority of British Columbians want to see B.C. put fighting climate change at the centre of COVID recovery plans. And with a Biden presidency kicking off the new year and game-changing clean stimulus plans from countries like Germany, the U.K., and South Korea, it’s clear that B.C. must compete on climate if it’s to compete economically into the future. The province’s climate plan, CleanBC, provides an excellent platform on which to do so. Now is the time to increase its ambition—and there is no time to waste.”

KEY FACTS

  • Over three-quarters of British Columbians (79%) agree that the economic changes brought about by COVID-19 provide an opportunity to do more now to fight climate change, according to a poll by Clean Energy Canada and Stratcom.
  • Almost three quarters (73%) of British Columbians would like to see Canada as either “world leading” (27%) or “among the most ambitious” countries in the world (46%) when it comes to a shift towards clean energy and clean technology— higher than any other province in Canada—according to a new poll from Clean Energy Canada and Abacus Data.
  • The B.C. government’s Zero-Emission Vehicles Act will require automakers to achieve 10% provincial ZEV sales by 2025, 30% by 2030, and 100% by 2040 (for light-duty vehicles).

RESOURCES

Poll | Most Canadians want Canada to be ‘world leading’ or ‘among the most ambitious’ when it comes to shifting to clean energy and clean technology(December 2020, Clean Energy Canada and Abacus Data)

Op-ed | “British Columbians of all political stripes want a cleaner economy. Parties are missing an opportunity” (Vancouver Sun)

Poll | British Columbians want climate and clean energy at the centre of B.C.’s recovery plan (July 2020, Clean Energy Canada and Stratcom)

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