We have a roadmap - but is it showing us the most direct route?
Updated: Nov 4, 2021
The Government of BC released their CleanBC’s Roadmap to 2030 climate plan for a better future on October 25, 2021. The roadmap sets strong requirements on transportation, buildings, and methane emissions, but needs to go further on ending support for fossil fuel development, including LNG.
The BC Climate Alliance (BCCA) applauds the government on its plans to tackle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation, buildings, and other sectors. These include stronger targets for zero-emission vehicles and active transportation, a requirement for all new buildings to be zero carbon by 2030, and increased fuel and energy efficiency standards. The plan will substantially reduce methane emissions from oil and gas, mining, forestry, and industrial wood waste by 2035, and eliminate slash burning by 2030.
But the Roadmap fails to address the government‘s continuing support for natural gas expansion.
“The cap on emissions for natural gas utilities is significant, but that cap needs to continue to decline over time for a managed wind down of oil and gas necessary to get to net zero emissions by 2050,” said Laura Sacks, a BCCA founding member.
While the commitment to significantly reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector is an important step, (as methane is a potent greenhouse gas, particularly in the short term), the continued development of LNG as a whole is at odds with the goal of reducing GHG emissions.
The Roadmap also lacks a firm commitment to end the deep-well royalty credit program and phase out all fossil fuel subsidies. By failing to reduce support to the sunset fossil fuel industry, the Roadmap fails to position BC in a leadership position as the world transitions away from fossil fuels. This missed opportunity will slow our response to climate change action and will result in missing our GHG emission reduction targets.
“Clean LNG is a misnomer, and continued subsidies from the BC government will simply delay the much needed transition to truly clean renewables,” said Judy O’Leary of the BCCA.
While the Roadmap sets out important steps in the adoption of clean technologies and improved building standards, deadlines need to be brought forward, given the immediacy of the climate crisis, says Eryne Croquet, a BCCA representative.
“Active transportation and ZEV are critical components for any successful plan to reduce GHG emissions, but the implementation timelines in the Roadmap to 2030 are too long.” she said.