The Province of B.C. takes its economic development and
environmental stewardship seriously and leads by example to
address climate change, as well as provide opportunities for
clean technology companies. It recently became the first
province in Canada to legislate broad-based greenhouse gas
reduction targets, with the Greenhouse Gas Reduction
Targets Act. Although many celebrities and politicians
appear to be jumping on the global-warming bandwagon, B.C. has
taken the first steps necessary to provide certainty around the
timing of greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reductions.
McCarthy Tétrault Notes:
While the consensus has been that GHG reductions would come,
the big question was "When?" This uncertainty around
timing makes it harder for capital markets to invest and
businesses to plan production schedules. These difficulties
limit the level of innovation and growth of new clean
technology companies. Being too early to market with an
electric car has proven to be as costly as being too late into
the hybrid auto market.
In addition to providing certainty for businesses and
investors, the B.C. government is committed under the Act to
being carbon neutral for the 2010 calendar year. Also, the Act
requires work-related travel by public officials to be carbon
neutral for the 2008 and 2009 calendar years. This approach of
'leading by example' creates opportunities for
businesses and clean technology companies to assist the B.C.
government with reducing its GHG emissions.
The Act adopts a phased-in approach up to 2020 for the level
of GHG reduction. This will allow investment and businesses
time to align business models and production schedules. The Act
sets two province-wide targets for greenhouse gas
by 2020 and for each subsequent calendar year, B.C.
greenhouse gas emissions will be at least 33 per cent less
than the level of those emissions in 2007; and
by 2050 and for each subsequent calendar year, B.C.
greenhouse gas emissions will be at least 80 per cent less
than the level of those emissions in 2007.
Interim targets will be set for 2012 and 2016, which will be
determined before the end of 2008. The Premier of B.C. has
appointed a Climate Action Team, which includes several Nobel
Peace Prizes winners and senior executive from business, to
advise and report on the interim targets by July 2008. After
the team delivers its report, a process for public comment and
input will begin.
Cheryl Slusarchuk is the Chair of the B.C. Climate Action
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