B.C. strengthens Climate Accountability Act

Increased accountability measures, but targets don’t align with the best climate science

Today the B.C. government has introduced significant changes to the Climate Change Accountability Act, an important series of reforms to the way we fight climate change in B.C.

“B.C. is establishing strong planning and reporting requirements for its actions to fight climate change,” said Andrew Radzik, Georgia Strait Alliance’s Energy Campaigner. “These will demonstrate in detail what is being done to curb carbon emissions and deal with climate risk to our province, and evaluate whether those measures are working.”

To help assess their progress, the Province has established an independent body of experts to hold them accountable. B.C. is also setting an interim target on the way to our 2030 goal, providing a meaningful target in the shorter term. “These are all strong measures to make sure we stay on track to reduce emissions, and we applaud the government for taking them,” said Radzik.

As part of these changes, the government will announce targets in the next two years for each sector of B.C.’s economy. “What these targets will look like isn’t clear, and a lot hinges on what they are,” said Radzik. “While B.C.’s emissions have been basically flat over the last decade, some sectors, including oil and gas exploration, have seen their emissions rise dramatically. B.C. must ensure each sector of the economy does it’s part, and no industry is exempt from the hard work of reducing emissions.”

The B.C. government did not announce any changes to their current carbon reduction goals. “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made it clear: to avoid the worst impacts of climate destabilization, we must reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050,” said Radzik. “In 2050, the gap between our existing emissions target and what the science says is needed will be 12.6 Megatonnes of carbon. Closing that gap is a challenge B.C. did not take up today. We are disappointed that B.C. did not choose to put a mechanism in place to reassess their climate targets in the light of the best available science, and will continue to advocate for them to do so.”

Image: Chris Chan, Unsplash