En­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vo­cates, busi­ness groups praise sweep­ing B.C. cli­mate change plan

StarMetro Calgary - - CALGARY - Ainslie Cruick­shank David P. Ball

VAN­COU­VER—The B.C. gov­ern­ment’s sweep­ing cli­mate plan gar­nered sup­port from busi­ness groups and cli­mate ad­vo­cates alike but it re­mains un­clear how the prov­ince will close a 6-mil­lion-tonne short­fall in its green­house gas com­mit­ments.

The prov­ince’s plan, re­leased Wed­nes­day in Van­cou­ver, aims to cut B.C.’s emis­sions by 18.9 mil­lion tonnes over the next 12 years, largely through in­creas­ing the use of elec­tric­ity by all sec­tors and boost­ing low-car­bon fu­els.

Cli­mate ad­vo­cates praised the gov­ern­ment for tak­ing an im­por­tant step in the right di­rec­tion, par­tic­u­larly given a po­lit­i­cal con­text that’s seen U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump slash en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions and On­tario Pre­mier Doug Ford scrap the prov­ince’s cap and trade pro­gram.

“It’s ac­tu­ally quite re­mark­able to have a gov­ern­ment that gets it and is do­ing their best to act on it,” said po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist Ge­orge Hoberg, an ex­pert in en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­icy at the Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia. “We are 75 per cent of the way there which is ex­tremely im­por­tant,” he B.C. Pre­mier John Hor­gan un­veiled a new cli­mate plan Wed­nes­day in Van­cou­ver.

said.

The plan de­pends heav­ily on slash­ing in­dus­try emis­sions by 8.4 mil­lion tonnes, nearly half the to­tal cuts planned — achiev­ing that with ag­gres­sive elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, new hy­dro trans­mis­sion lines and a $240-mil­lion-ayear tech­nol­ogy fund.

More about B.C.’s new plan at thes­tar.com/van­cou­ver

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