B.C. has released its annual climate report to show the progress that has been made.
Photo by Jaana Björk
Annual climate report shows progress made in key areas
Published 2:49 PST, Fri November 25, 2022
British Columbia has led the way in the uptake of zero-emission vehicles in North America, increased the number of public charging stations in the province by 50 per cent in one year, and eliminated the largest fossil fuel subsidy in the province—just three key areas where progress has been made on climate action, demonstrated in the 2022 Climate Change Accountability Report.
"The Climate Change Accountability Report is a cornerstone of our transparency and accountability on climate, as it provides a full accounting of government climate actions, spending, and results," said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. "More importantly, it outlines our progress towards our legislated greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, and how our province is preparing for the impacts of climate change."
The report provides progress updates on a wide range of CleanBC programs to reduce emissions, build a cleaner economy, and prepare for the impacts of climate change over the 2021–22 fiscal period. It confirms that, despite some technical changes from the federal government's national emissions inventory and modelling updates, B.C. is largely projected to meet its 2030 target. The accountability report provides new data on progress made across sectors like transportation, industry, buildings and communities, and the public service.
• In the transportation sector, electric vehicles (EVs) made up 13 per cent of new light-duty vehicle sales in 2021, eclipsing government's original 2025 target and is the highest uptake of new EVs in North America.
• B.C.’s electric vehicle public charging network continued to expand, totalling more than 3,000 public charging stations at the end of 2021, an increase of 50 per cent from the previous year.
• The use of renewable fuels increased by more than 100 million litres to more than 900 million litres in 2021.
• The CleanBC Better Homes and Better Buildings programs expanded incentives making heat pumps more affordable. More than 15,000 rebates were disbursed in 2021, up 36 per cent from the previous year. The province also introduced an income-qualified version of the program to provide higher rebates, up to 95 per cent for lower income households.
• The province nearly doubled investment in emissions reduction projects through the CleanBC Industry Fund to more than $90 million. This builds on a three-year record of investing more than $300 million from the province, industry, and partners to build a cleaner economy. Total investment is expected to reduce more than six million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, the same as removing about 130,000 vehicles from the road each year.
• Methane emissions in 2020 for the oil and gas sector have decreased significantly since 2014, putting B.C. on track to meet government's target of a 45 per cent reduction by 2025.
• B.C. launched a new climate action program for local governments and Modern Treaty Nations, providing up to $25 million a year in keeping with commitments in the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 in May 2022.
"British Columbians expect their governments to be transparent and accountable when it comes to climate action and this latest climate accountability report does that. It reports where progress toward targets is occurring and where more needs to be done," said Nancy Olewiler, co-chair of the Climate Solutions Council and professor in the School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University. "The Climate Solutions Council provides independent advice through our publicly available annual report and advice letters on where action is needed to ensure we meet B.C.'s emissions targets and improve transparency and accountability to the public."
B.C. is committed to meeting its 2030 emissions targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. The CleanBC roadmap includes accelerated and expanded actions and is informed by recommendations from the Climate Solutions Council, an independent advisory group with members from First Nations, environmental organizations, industry, academia, youth, labour, and local government.
The roadmap is designed to be flexible and adaptable in tandem with the climate accountability process in order to effectively respond to external events with adjustments in policy where needed.
To read the full 2022 Climate Change Accountability report, visit gov.bc.ca/2022climatechangereport.