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NDP fail to meet key CleanBC deadline - choose fossil fuel expansion over climate action

December 07, 2020

VICTORIA, BC - On Saturday, December 5th, the B.C. NDP Government failed to meet a critical climate commitment within the CleanBC plan, the climate-economic strategy jointly drafted by the B.C. Greens and B.C. NDP during the previous minority government. The commitment was to close the 25% gap needed to meet our legally binding 2030 emissions reduction target - a challenge made significantly more difficult by the NDP’s approval of LNG Canada. 

“This failure confirms what climate scientists, advocates, and my office have been saying for years - you cannot have expanded LNG production and also meet your climate targets,” said B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley. 

“For over 3 years the B.C. Greens fought tirelessly to pass credible climate policies for the province. CleanBC represented the most significant step forward on climate action that this province has seen. Unfortunately, at the same time, the NDP were pursuing an agenda to massively expand and subsidize the LNG industry - effectively undermining the advancements we were able to make. Now fossil fuel development is at an all-time high and they have failed to provide a plan that shows how we will fully meet our 2030 target.

“Expanding the LNG industry does not make us a climate leader. If B.C. is going to build a world-leading low carbon economy, it must move away from fossil fuels altogether.

“During the election campaign, the NDP announced a new promise to reach a net-zero target by 2050 - knowing full well that just last year they locked us into a massive fossil fuel project will operate through the 2060s and exceed the province’s existing legislated 2050 emissions reduction target by 160%, even if all other sources of emissions in British Columbia are reduced to zero,” said MLA Furstenau.

“Politicians are obsessed with 2050 targets, not because they are ambitious, but because it distracts from the responsibility, they have to take serious action on the climate crisis today. And today they are failing.”

The Production Gap 2020 report released last week by the UN indicates that the world's governments plan to produce more than double the amount of coal, oil, and gas in 2030 than is consistent with their commitments to limit global warming, with Canada among the worst offenders.

Between 2020 and 2030, global gas production must fall annually by three per cent to be consistent with a 1.5 C pathway. The B.C. NDP approved the biggest fossil fuel project in the province’s history to start increasing pollution levels in 2023, continuing through the 2060s.

As reported by CBC, according to Climate Action Tracker, which measures government climate action against what is needed to limit global temperature rise, current policies put the world on track to a 2.9 C temperature rise this century - an increase not survivable for many ecosystems, species, and societies.

Background:

  • CleanBC is an economic vision developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party and NDP government which supported a commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.s emission targets. 

  • The climate crisis is increasing the frequency and magnitude of droughts, floods, fires, extreme heat, and storms, as well as intensifying the risk of disease, economic collapse, political instability, migration, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. It is also exacerbating the extinction crisis, with a million species under threat of total collapse, many within decades. 

  • The crisis is fuelled by rising concentrations of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, in Earth's atmosphere. These gases are released into the atmosphere during the production and burning of fossil fuels - coal, oil, gas, and liquefied natural gas.

  • In 2018, gross emissions in BC totaled 67.9 million tonnes (Mt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), up 2.2Mt (+3%) from 2017. This represents an increase of 4.5 Mt CO2e (7%) from 2007 levels, the baseline year for BC’s legislated emissions reduction targets (i.e. a 40% reduction from 2007 level by 2030, 60% by 2040, and 80% by 2050). The Province is now 14% further from its 2030 target than it was in 2007.

  • Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries have committed to a goal of limiting average temperature rise to well below 2 C above pre-industrial levels, with every increase above 1.5 C seriously significantly worsening climate impacts. Reaching this goal would require fossil fuel production to decrease by roughly six per cent per year between 2020 and 2030. Instead, countries are planning and projecting an average annual increase of two per cent, which by 2030 would result in more than double the production consistent with the 1.5 C limit.

Sources: UN Environment ProgrammeIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reportUN Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem ServicesUN’s special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rightsUnited Nations Environment ProgrammeNASAPreliminary Strategic Climate Risk Assessment for British ColumbiaCanada’s Changing Climate Report

 

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Media contact
JoJo Beattie
Press Secretary
BC Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 |[email protected]

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