B.C. climate goal unchanged, minister says

Ottawa’s decision to withdraw from the international treaty on climate change doesn’t change doesn’t change B.C.’s

  • Jan. 4, 2012 1:00 p.m.

Tom Fletcher

Black Press

Ottawa’s decision to withdraw from the international treaty on climate change doesn’t change B.C.’s determination to reach its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets, Environment Minister Terry Lake says.

Lake spent last week at the international climate conference in Durban, South Africa, where the focus was on trying to extend the 2005 Kyoto Protocol. Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent announced Monday that Canada will be the first country to formally withdraw from the Kyoto agreement, because it places an unfair burden on developed countries while exempting China, India and other developing countries.

Kyoto required Canada to cut greenhouse gas emissions by six per cent below 1990 levels by 2012. But by 2009, Canada’s emissions had risen to 17 per cent above 1990 levels, much of it due to expanded oilsands development in Alberta.

Lake said in an interview he understands Ottawa’s position, because the second round of the Kyoto agreement would only apply to 16 per cent of the world’s emitters.

“It doesn’t affect what we’re doing here in B.C., which is to continue on with our goals of 33 per cent reduction by 2020 and 80 per cent reduction by 2050,” Lake said.

With B.C.’s carbon tax in its fourth year, Lake said there has been a slight reduction in the province’s emissions. There is one more increase set for July 2012, with offsetting business and personal income tax cuts to keep it revenue neutral to the province.

“We have gone down, and part of that is due to our policies on carbon tax,” he said. “As it gets higher I think it changes people’s behaviour. It certainly changes industry’s behaviour.”

Lake said there is still a lot of international interest in B.C.’s carbon tax, which remains almost unique despite the view of economists that it is the best way to put a price on carbon emissions.

He acknowledged that B.C.’s growing natural gas industry makes it more important to develop carbon dioxide capture and storage in the province’s vast shale gas deposits.

Lake met with Australia’s director of climate policy, and learned that Australia is developing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facility with full carbon capture. Lake said B.C. will study that effort for its own LNG export plans.

 

Shifting Pacific Rim countries from coal to LNG can have a major effect on reducing greenhouse gases, he said.

 

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Darrell Holland is running for council in Fraser Lake

Holland has worked within the sawmill as an industrial electrician for 15 years

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Retired RCMP officer Kim Watt-Senner in the running for Fraser Lake council

Watt-Senner spent 19 years with the RCMP and also owns a business in Fraser Lake

John Murphy is running for re-election in Vanderhoof

The Vanderhoof councillor wants to work on housing and transportation

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Just 7% of Northern B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

Most Read