BC Climate Change Progress Stalled, Critics Say
'We know we need to do more,' says environment minister.
Lately, Premier Christy Clark has been bragging about British Columbia's record fighting climate change, but observers say that pride is misplaced."They're talking a lot about being a world leader in climate action," said Jens Wieting, a campaigner with the Sierra Club of BC. That's misleading considering the province's recent record on carbon emissions, he said. "We are currently moving in the wrong direction."
A B.C. government press release dated April 13 trumpeted the "world-leading standard B.C. has set for climate action" and challenged other jurisdictions to meet or beat the province's standard. It noted Clark was set to speak to meetings of the World Bank-International Monetary Fund on April 17 about the B.C. carbon tax, "which sets a powerful example for the world."
But as the Sierra Club's Wieting points out, the hot air from Clark and the B.C. government comes as the province's climate change record has slipped.
While B.C. claimed to have met its interim target of a six per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2007 levels in 2012, a year later they had gone back up by 2.4 per cent to 63 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, Wieting said. He cited recently released figures from the National Inventory of greenhouse gas sources and sinks.
"We can't afford to move in the wrong direction and see our emissions increasing," he said. "The science is clear we're running out of time."