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Section 1.5: Looking Ahead

Continuing to Work with the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) and other Partners

As noted previously, it is critical to work with other jurisdictions if BC is to be successful in reducing the effects of climate change. At this time, BC’s key partners are the eight other members (seven states and one other province) that comprise the WCI. For example, partnering on a regional emissions trading market through the WCI is a priority action for 2008. Through the WCI, the province is also collaborating with European Countries, US states, and New Zealand in the International Carbon Action Partnership to provide a global mechanism to share best practices and to consider development of compatible multi-country carbon trading markets.

Pending Legislative and Regulatory Changes

Introduction of some important legislation to further the climate action agenda is another priority for 2008. These regulatory changes will complement the measures facilitated by Budget 2008 and other actions now in the planning stage:

  • Limits on GHGs by large emitters (“cap and trade”) – The WCI has set a date of August 2008 to come to agreement on a workable system for carbon trading for large emitters. The government intends to introduce legislation in 2008 to enable adoption of this system.
  • Limits on GHGs from new vehicles sold in BC – The new tailpipe standards would be introduced over time, with standards to be fully phased in by 2016. Therefore legislation is planned for 2008.
  • Limits on GHGs from landfills – These new standards would set minimum requirements for the capture of methane gas from landfills. Legislation is planned for 2008.
  • Amend Utilities Commission Act – The Energy Plan, smart meters and rate structures to encourage energy efficiency and conservation will be supported by a new legislated direction for the BC Utilities Commission.
  • Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) and Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS) – Government will pass enabling legislation covering both these standards, likely in 2008. The RFS will require 5 per cent renewables in fuel (gasoline and diesel) by 2010. The LCFS will require transportation fuel suppliers and importers to reduce the average global warming intensity of their products (grams of CO2-equivalent per unit of energy) by 10 per cent by 2020.
  • Green Communities – Legislation is also being developed to assist local governments encourage more compact communities that reduce energy use, reduce the costs of servicing, and increase the opportunities to walk and cycle to work in order to reduce GHG emissions. Emission reduction targets, policies and actions will be required elements in all official community plans and regional growth strategies.

Facilitating a new provincial climate action plan

Like the 2007 Throne Speech, last year’s Energy Plan, and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, Budget 2008 is another step forward in developing a renewed climate action plan for BC. As noted earlier, Budget 2008 provides the fiscal resources and incentives, in the context of a revenue-neutral carbon tax, to support BC’s efforts to meet its GHG reduction targets.

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