VANCOUVER The Province will introduce new legislative measures this fall that will mandate
greenhouse gas reduction targets and provide legal tools to implement government strategy to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent below current levels by 2020, Premier Gordon Campbell
announced today at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention.
As we said in the throne speech, our target for 2020 is very aggressive and it will challenge us all
to meet it, said Campbell. â€œIn this coming fall session, we intend to legislate the 2020 target, as well as a
target for 2050. The bill will also require us to establish legally binding emissions reduction targets for
2012 and 2016.
A Climate Action Team will also be announced next month, consisting of a blue ribbon team of
leaders from environmental organizations, private enterprise, the scientific community, First Nations and
The Climate Action Team will determine the most credible, aggressive and economically viable
sector targets possible for 2012 and 2016. That work will be completed by July 31, 2008. The targets
identified for 2012 and 2016 must be scientifically supported with viable emission reduction strategies that
are economically and fiscally achievable. Those targets will be put out for public review, either accepted or
amended, and legally mandated through regulation by the end of 2008.
Legislation will also be introduced next spring to allow for the creation of market mechanisms and
make B.C. the first province in Canada to legally require hard cap on GHG emissions. Those caps will
be used as part of a â€œcap and trade systemâ€ that is scheduled to be developed by next August through the
Western Climate Initiative.
Sectoral symposiums will take place to discuss GHG emission reduction strategies with forestry
(Prince George), mining (Terrace) energy (Fort St. John) waste and landfills (Nanaimo) and agriculture
Further legislation will be introduced this fall to require all Province of British Columbia entities,
including Crown agencies, to be carbon neutral by 2010. All public sector organizations, including school
boards and health authorities, will be required by law to produce annual public reports on their progress.
All government travel will be required to be carbon neutral starting this year. Emissions from
government travel will be tracked, calculated, peer reviewed and audited. Measures to reduce unnecessary
travel, such as video-conferencing capabilities, will be extended.
Starting this fiscal year, for every tonne of GHGs associated with official government travel, the
Province will invest $25 in a new BC Carbon Trust. The trust will be launched early next year and will
ensure tax dollars are invested in valid offset projects in B.C. It will also be open to individuals, companies
and other levels of government to help them become carbon neutral and help reduce emissions by
supporting a made-in-B.C. offset project. Projects funded by the trust may include enhanced energy
efficiency, produce clean, renewable energy or sequester carbon through incremental afforestation
â€œIn the long run, this has the potential to save agencies money. It does not cost us to turn off the
lights. It does not cost us to turn down the thermostat. It does not cost us to drive a smaller car with a more
efficient engine, said Campbell. Moreover, we should all know by now that the costs of doing nothing
are getting higher every day.
Other actions outlined by Premier Campbell:
Greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies and targets will be legally required in all official
community plans and regional growth strategies.
Municipalities will be given the power to waive development cost charges as a way to encourage
green developments, small unit housing and small lot subdivisions.
All new government buildings or facilities shall be built to a minimum LEED Gold or equivalent
Legislation will be introduced next spring to require the adoption of California tailpipe emission
standards to be phased in from 2009 to 2016.
B.C. will be the first province in Canada to legally adopt California’s low carbon fuel content
standards, a requirement that will reduce carbon intensity of all passenger vehicles by a further 10
per cent by 2020.
B.C. will implement a five per cent average renewable fuel standard for diesel by 2010 and support
the federal government’s plan to increase the ethanol content of gasoline to five per cent by 2010.
The Province will provide an additional $50 million this year for BC Transit to purchase new, clean
buses and expand public transit service across B.C.
In the coming weeks, government will lay out a vision for transit. It will be on a scale and scope
aimed at making B.C. a global leader in public transit.
Later this fall, we will be releasing phase one of our climate action plan that will detail strategies
we’ve identified so far which have the potential to reduce our GHG emissions by 24 to 33 million tonnes.
That’s enough to get us anywhere from 60 to 82 per cent towards our target of a 33 per cent reduction,
To date, the Cabinet Committee on Climate Action has had 177 presentations from scientists,
public servants, environmental organizations, academics and industry sectors. The committee has identified
strategies to reduce sectoral emissions by an estimated seven to nine million tonnes from electricity, two
million tonnes from buildings, seven to 10 million tonnes from industry, six to nine million tonnes from
transportation and two to three million tonnes from waste. There will be independent verification of these
reductions through a peer review panel. Those numbers will change as new strategies are identified and the
government hears more from each sector about what it thinks is possible.
Contact: Mike Morton Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
250 387-1715 (office)
250 213-8218 (cell)