B.C. sets sectoral targets, supports for industry and clean tech

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[A rewriten govt PR release – yes yet another late Friday addition to public knowledge – with RG’s cynical comments]
The Province has met its legal obligation to very quietly announce sectoral greenhouse gas (GHG) targets to guide emission reductions, and supporting people working in B.C. industry and clean tech with investments in new projects to reduce emissions.

Sectoral GHG targets have been established for 2030 in transportation, industry, oil and gas, and buildings and communities – expressed as a range of five percentage points. British Columbia is the first province in Canada to set sectoral targets covering emissions across the economy. As part of legislated requirements, government will review the targets by 2025, with options to expand the number of sectors included and narrow the range.
The Province has launched a new round of applications for emission reduction projects for 2021 through the CleanBC Industry Fund with temporary changes to increase the provincial share of funding up to 90% of project costs with a cap of $25 million per project to encourage a greater number of proposals.

In addition, a new stream of the CleanBC Industry Fund will support industry projects that use advanced clean tech solutions for tough-to-solve emission problems. This new stream is called the Innovation Accelerator.

The Province is investing $33 million in 19 CleanBC Industry Fund projects. This will enable an additional multi-sectoral investment from industry of $51 million in cleaner technology and energy efficiency. Combined, these investments are expected to eliminate 1.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over the next decade – roughly the same as taking approximately 390,000 cars off the road for a year.

Sectoral greenhouse gas targets for 2030 are expressed as a percentage reduction from 2007 sector emissions. 
• Target ranges for each sector:
◦ transportation – 27 to 32%;
◦ industry – 38 to 43%;
◦ oil and gas – 33 to 38%; and
◦ buildings and communities – 59 to 64%.

• Sectoral targets were established based on emissions modelling done by the Climate Action Secretariat and input from engagement with a wide range of stakeholders and partners.
Ministry figures show that BC has achieved no significant reductions in GHG’s in any of these sectors in the period 2007 to 2018.

These sectors need to be broken down into meaningful parts – especially for transport and buildings and community. The response from the Ministry was “The number of sectors was chosen after considering feedback from stakeholders and partners, including industry, business, environmental groups, Indigenous organizations, academics, local governments, the building sector, transportation groups, and others.

The four-sector approach largely mirrors sectors outlined in CleanBC – with the addition of the oil and gas sector – and is based in part on the availability of higher-quality emissions data for groupings at this level.

While our original intention was to set targets for eight sectors, existing emissions data does not currently allow for that level of detail.

We will revisit the number and level of targets in the years ahead, as part of legislated requirements in the Climate Change Accountability Act, with the intention of adding more sectors and narrowing the emissions ranges.””

Maybe our hope for the BC Climate Change and Accountability Act is entirely misplaced? Certainly its first decade did not show much progress.

Given the target reductions assigned to buildings and community, one is forced to ask why the construction step code time table is so ‘generous’ when it comes to compliance dates … how hard can building decent buildings be … do we need to ask the Europeans?

The BC Energy Step Code came into force in April 2017; builders have the option of building to the requirements in the Energy Step Code at any time. Currently, local governments have the authority to require or incentivise builders to meet one or more steps. In future, new homes will need to be built better than the current BC Building Code:
• 20 per cent more energy efficient by 2022 
• 40 per cent more energy efficient by 2027
• 80 per cent more energy efficient by 2032 which is the net-zero energy ready standard



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