BC Premier Calls for 33% Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions; 30% Reduction in Tailpipe CO2 One Initiative
In a speech to the BC Parliament, British Columbia (Canada) Premier Gordon Campbell called for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 33% from current levels by 2020. That is equivalent to a 10% reduction from 1990 levels.
Of the many initiatives outlined to achieve the goal, a number were directed at transportation, including:
Tailpipe emission standards for all new vehicles sold in BC will be phased in between 2009 and 2016, reducing carbon dioxide emissions from autos by 30%.
A low-carbon fuel standard will be established that will reduce carbon intensity of all passenger vehicles by at least 10 per cent by 2020.
The $2,000 sales tax exemption on new hybrid vehicles will be extended.
Beginning this month, all new cars leased or purchased by the Province will be hybrids.
A federal-provincial partnership will invest $89 million for hydrogen fuelling stations and the world’s first fleet of 20 fuel cell buses. The new fuelling stations are part of the initial phase of the hydrogen highway from Whistler to Vancouver, Surrey, and Victoria.
The Province will work with Pacific states to encourage a hydrogen highway from Whistler to San Diego by 2020. It would be the longest hydrogen highway in the world.
The Premier will meet with governors to assess and address the impact of climate change on our oceans and establish common standards for Pacific ports.
The Province will seek federal co-operation to electrify ports and reduce container ship carbon emissions in all Canadian ports.
Also, effective immediately, BC will require 100% carbon sequestration for any new coal-fired electricity project—the first jurisdiction in North America, if not the world, to do so.
Climate change is real, and British Columbians are telling us we must do more as a government and as individuals. We will act to stem the growth of global warming and minimize the impacts already unleashed by establishing targets and actions and by working with our national and international neighbours.—Premier Campbell
Other initiatives outlined by the Premier to tackle the challenge of global warming include:
Interim targets will be set for 2012 and 2016 through a Climate Action Team that will determine the most credible, aggressive and economically viable targets.
A longer-term emissions reduction target to be set for 2050.
The Climate Action Team will also be asked to identify practicable options and actions for making the government of BC carbon neutral by 2010.
All electricity produced in BC will be required to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2016.
Greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas industry will be reduced to 2000 levels by 2016, including a zero-flaring requirement at producing wells and production facilities.
A new $25-million Innovative Clean Energy Fund will be established to encourage the commercialization of alternative energy solutions such as bioenergy, geothermal energy, tidal, run-of-the river, solar, and wind power.
A new unified BC Green Building Code will be developed with industry and communities.
Legislation will be developed to phase in requirements for methane capture at landfills, the source of about nine per cent of BC’s greenhouse gas emissions.
New incentives to retrofit existing homes and buildings to make them energy efficient.
New measures will help homeowners undertake “energy audits” to identify possible energy savings.
Real-time, in-home smart metering will help homeowners measure and reduce energy consumption.
Over the next year, the Province will consider the range of possibilities aimed at encouraging personal choices that are environmentally responsible. The Province will explore ways to encourage shifts in behaviour that reduce carbon consumption through tax savings.
Parliament Buildings seismic upgrades will include new standards of energy efficiency.
New strategies will be launched to promote Pacific Green universities, colleges, hospitals, schools, prisons, ferries, and airports.
The Province will substantially increase its tree-planting efforts.
The Province will ensure school curricula inform students how they can reduce individual impacts on the environment at home and at work.
Beehive burners will be eliminated.
Trees infested by the mountain pine beetle will be used to create new, clean energy.
This spring, the Province will invite all Pacific Coast governors and key ministers to BC to forge a new Pacific Coast Collaborative extending from Alaska to California.
BC will work with its neighbors to create electrified truck stops to reduce idling.
The Province will work with the federal government and Pacific partners to develop a sensible, efficient system to register, trade, and purchase carbon offsets and credits.
A new Citizen’s Conservation Council will be established and funded.
California Governor Schwarzenegger, who signed the first US state carbon cap into law in 2006, is planning to meet with Premier Campbell in British Columbia this spring to discuss environmental and trade issues.
I am pleased that British Columbia has joined the fight against climate change. Global warming impacts everyone, and states and nations must work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Along with other states and our international partners, such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, Manitoba, Brazil and China, California is proud to lead the way to take decisive action to combat global warming. I look forward to meeting with Premier Campbell and working with British Columbia on this critical issue. By setting targets to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and damage to the environment, we are taking major steps toward preserving our natural resources for future generations.—California Governor Schwarzenegger
This week the governors of Illinois and New Jersey also set targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in their states.
In January, a new report from CIBC World Markets, the wholesale and corporate banking arm of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), forecast that all jurisdictions in Canada and the US will have carbon dioxide regulations in place by the end of the decade to address global warming concerns.
The report predicts that every province and state in North America will follow the lead of California and implement not only a CO2 emissions cap but also an emissions trading system that will allow larger polluters to buy emissions credits from other firms whose emissions are less than what is allowed under the cap. (Earlier post.)