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B.C. as a Climate Action Leader: A Comparison with Other Jurisdictions

Since climate change became a major global issue, European countries have been the leaders in terms of advancing the agenda. However, along with California, BC is at the forefront in North America in terms of implementing progressive climate action policies. This is demonstrated in the table below, which is a summary of the records of various western, industrialized jurisdictions in terms of their key climate change policies. Note that change on this front is rapid and planning for climate change in most of these jurisdictions is in flux. However, at this time, the conclusions are:

  • 7 of the 23 jurisdictions (the European Union is counted as a single jurisdiction) have legislated targets for absolute reductions of GHG emissions, some more aggressive than others;
  • excluding the European Union (EU), 3 of 22 have some variation of a carbon tax – BC, Quebec, and the United Kingdom (UK) – however several countries in the EU also have some form of carbon tax;
  • 8 of 23 either are now part of a GHG “cap & trade” system or have committed to join one, and all EU jurisdictions including the UK belong to the existing EU carbon trading system that was launched in 2005;
  • 11 of 23 have either committed to adopt California’s proposed GHG tailpipe emissions standards or are proposing more stringent standards; and
  • of those included in the table, only BC, the EU, and the United Kingdom have legislated targets for absolute emission reductions, some variation of a carbon tax, a commitment to “cap and trade” for large emitters, and intend to implement California tailpipe emission standards or better.

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Table - continued.

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