New B.C. mandate letters send right signal on climate action
Dec. 8, 2022
VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Pembina Institute released the following statement, in response to the swearing-in of a new cabinet in British Columbia.
Executive Director Chris Severson-Baker said:
“We would like to congratulate B.C.’s new cabinet on their appointments. This government has sent a clear signal through the cabinet’s new mandate letters that B.C. intends to accelerate the pace of climate action and expand clean energy development across the province.”
“We applaud the mandate to legislate B.C.’s net-zero by 2050 target, along with renewed focus to deliver on existing legislated emissions reduction targets for 2030 and 2040. The complementary directive to require large industrial projects to fit within B.C.’s legislated climate targets is of critical importance. These actions will provide crucial certainty to the public and private sector about the need to make urgent and early emissions reductions on the road to 2050, including through investment in clean energy resources – which we hope will include technology such as wind, solar, low-carbon hydrogen, renewable natural gas, and advanced biofuels.”
“Further, the introduction of B.C.’s new Mining Innovation Hub, along with the promise to ramp up development of a critical minerals strategy, are exciting developments that will further underpin B.C.’s ability to capitalize on the opportunities of the clean economy. This work, we hope, will support the advancement of clean industries in Canada – such as electric vehicle batteries and solar panel production.”
“We are also pleased that the mandate letter for Energy, Mines and Low-Carbon Innovation recognizes the need to develop an integrated ‘climate-aligned energy framework’ for the province. We also welcome the plan to work collaboratively with the B.C. Utilities Commission to chart a clean energy pathway to net-zero and to find economic partnership opportunities for Indigenous ownership in clean energy projects including BC Hydro infrastructure. Identifying how B.C.’s various clean energy resources can be most effectively leveraged across all sectors will be of critical importance for this government.”
“On oil and gas in particular, we are supportive of the mandate letters’ intention to align the sector’s emissions reduction targets with the federal oil and gas cap. As with every jurisdiction in Canada, it is crucial that large industrial emitters such as oil and gas companies in B.C. are incentivized to do their fair share in meeting Canada’s climate targets. In this regard, we are encouraged to see a focus on the provincial methane target, given that we know methane offers some of the most cost-effective and rapid emissions reductions available in the sector. Finally, the commitment to review subsidies and financial supports currently afforded to fossil fuel companies – and transition these to the clean tech and clean energy sectors – will spur further positive momentum in the energy transition. Shifting this funding is important, given that multiple scenarios now indicate that clean energy resources will be in high demand in the future, while oil and gas resources will face a long-term decline in demand.”
“Overall, we are pleased to see the B.C. cabinet’s new mandate letters reflect the urgent need to accelerate climate action. We look forward to working constructively with the province on the continued implementation of the Roadmap to 2030 and the new commitments announced this week.”
Pembina Institute experts are available for interviews and comments.
Communications Manager, Pembina Institute