FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2024
VANCOUVER/UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) TERRITORIES – Environmental groups Sierra Club BC, Ecojustice, and Stand.earth welcome today’s update to the carbon pricing system for large industries in B.C. as a positive step towards meeting the province’s climate targets.
Earlier today, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman announced the update known as “Output-Based Pricing System for Industry.” This announcement is part of the new energy action framework, a larger package of policies that was announced almost a year ago and which is designed to help meet B.C.’s climate targets while transitioning the province to a clean-energy economy.
“Today’s announcement is a positive step that strengthens B.C.’s climate plan,” said Sven Biggs, Canadian Oil and Gas Program Director for Stand.earth. “In the run up to this Fall’s election, we will be looking for the government to take further steps in this direction, especially when it comes to B.C.’s biggest climate problem – fracking and LNG expansion.”
“We are optimistic that the system announced today can play an important role in meeting our provincial targets for industry,” said Jens Wieting, Senior Science Advisor for Sierra Club BC. “Success will depend on annual reviews combined with immediate adjustments to course correct, as well as an increase of stringency over time, including narrowing down the role of offsets for large industrial emitters.”
“We are pleased to see B.C. impose a mandatory system to reduce emissions from big industry polluters,” said Sarah Korpan, Government Relations and Campaign Specialist for Ecojustice. “It is critical that B.C. is transparent in demonstrating that this system will help meet our legislated emissions targets, and that they remain committed to strengthening the system as necessary to ensure it continues to match the urgency of the escalating climate crisis.”
Additional policies are needed to limit and start winding down fossil fuel production, consistent with the international agreement to transition away from fossil fuels achieved at last year’s UN climate summit in Dubai. New LNG projects are the single biggest threat to B.C.’s climate targets and the provincial government has an opportunity to address this risk by finalizing the long-anticipated oil and gas emissions cap in the near future.