On August 19, 2016, the British Columbia (BC) government
released its Climate Leadership Plan. The Climate Leadership Plan is an update to the BC
government's 2008 Climate Action Plan, and it implements some of
the recommendations made by the "Climate
Leadership Team" that was established by the BC Government in
2015 to review options for economic development and greenhouse-gas
emissions reductions, and make recommendations for the new Plan. As
set out in the BC government's news release, the BC government confirms the
commitment to achieve its 2050 target of an 80% reduction in
emissions from 2007 levels. As noted in published news articles and
commentary (see, for example, here and here), this focus on targets for 2050, instead
of nearer term goals for 2020 or 2030, is a departure from the 2008
Climate Action Plan and the recommendations made by the "Climate
The 2016 Climate Leadership Plan continues the carbon
tax model that has been in place in BC since 2008. However, the BC
government has decided that the carbon tax will be frozen at $30
per tonne. This is the same level as has been in place since 2012.
The decision not to increase the carbon tax is at odds with the recommendations made by the "Climate
Leadership Team." The suggestion in the 2016 Climate Leadership Plan is that the carbon tax
price will only be increased if other jurisdictions follow
The 2016 Climate Leadership Plan also includes 21
"action items" in areas such as natural gas,
transportation, industry, and utilities and buildings. According to
the BC government, the 2016 Climate Leadership Plan will reduce net annual
greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 million tonnes below current
forecasts by 2050.
It is not clear how the 2016 Climate Leadership Plan will impact on the
numerous liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects that have been
planned in BC. Critics have noted (see here) that it will be very difficult for BC to
meet emissions reduction targets if the largest of these projects
proceed. Currently, it is not clear which, if any, of the LNG
projects will proceed. According to a recent news article, none of the proponents of BC LNG
projects that have been proposed (and in some cases approved) have
made their "final investment decision."
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