VICTORIA — Mark Zacharias, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the new collaboration framework as part of the British Columbia Regional Energy and Resource Table:
“After decades of missing the mark, B.C.’s new vision for energy and resources—agreed upon by Canada, B.C., and the First Nations Leadership Council—aligns the province’s significant resource potential with the opportunities of a decarbonizing world.
“The energy transition is accelerating globally, spurred on by massive international investment. With so much at stake, we are pleased to see the framework focus on building the British Columbian industries that will be growing in this new global reality.
“Accordingly, we’re pleased to see that fossil fuels are not part of the strategy. As the International Energy Agency has made clear, new fossil fuel development is inconsistent with a world that meets its climate targets. A good strategy is one that’s fundamentally consistent, with investments focused on the future we’re building toward.
“Indeed, a recent study by Clean Energy Canada projected that clean energy jobs in the province would grow from some 83,000 in 2025 to over 400,000 in a net-zero 2050, outpacing declines in fossil fuel jobs.
“One of the fastest growing industries in British Columbia’s clean energy sector is set to be hydrogen fuel cell production—a reality that is reflected in the new framework, which places significant emphasis on clean fuels and hydrogen.
“The framework also places a welcome spotlight on B.C.’s wealth of metal and mineral resources—resources that are going to be in increasing demand for clean technologies like EV batteries. Importantly, this is also coupled with a focus on critical mineral recovery and re-use.
“We also welcome the recognition of the importance of electrification to British Columbia’s future. B.C.’s nearly 100% emissions-free electricity grid is a powerful emissions-slashing tool. Plugging our homes, vehicles, and industries into this clean grid not only cuts carbon pollution, but provides a valuable low-carbon advantage to products and resources made in the province.
“Going forward, we hope to see the B.C. government realize the vision presented in the new framework. That means acting on pledges to end tax breaks and subsidies for the fossil fuel industry and following through on the commitments to support the sectors outlined in the framework.
“Success requires a good vision—and today’s framework helps ensure that B.C. won’t be left behind.”
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