Blog & Announcements

CleanBC plan to reduce climate pollution, build a low-carbon economy


Sooke Pocket News / December 5, 2018 (with quote from BCNPHA Asset Management Director Ian Cullis)

The Government of British Columbia has released its CleanBC plan aimed at reducing climate pollution, while creating more jobs and economic opportunities for people, businesses and communities.

“The low-carbon economy we build together will bring opportunities and jobs throughout the province, so people can live and work with greater security in the communities they call home,” said Premier John Horgan. “By moving to clean, renewable energy – like our abundant supply of B.C. electricity – we can power our growing economy and make life better and more affordable for British Columbians.”

In unveiling the CleanBC plan, Premier Horgan said his government has put priority on:

  • reducing climate pollution by shifting homes, vehicles, industry and business off burning fossil fuels and toward greater use of clean B.C. electricity and other renewable energies;
  • boosting energy-efficient solutions, like zero-emission vehicles and home heat pumps, by making them more affordable and available for British Columbians; and
  • becoming a destination for new investment and industry looking to meet the growing global demand for low-carbon products, services and pollution-reducing technologies.

The CleanBC plan was developed as a pathway to achieve the Province’s legislated climate targets of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% by the year 2030, based on 2007 levels. The plan describes and quantifies measures that will eliminate 18.9 megatonnes (Mt) of its 2030 target. Remaining reduction initiatives will be quantified over the next 18 to 24 months.

“With CleanBC, British Columbia is rising to the challenge of climate change,” Premier Horgan said. “Every year, we’re seeing the unprecedented wildfires and floods that hurt so many people, communities and businesses. We need to begin changing how we live, work and commute to put B.C. on a cleaner, more sustainable path.”

“CleanBC will position our province for success as the world transitions to low-carbon solutions,” said Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green caucus and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head. “It is a testament to what we can accomplish when we recognize our shared values and commit to working together. I look forward to working with government, business and other stakeholders to action this plan, so that British Columbians can count on a bright future where all our communities enjoy a thriving economy and a high quality of life for generations to come.”

Highlights of the CleanBC plan include:

  • By 2040, every new car sold in B.C. will be a zero-emission vehicle. Government is helping people afford cleaner cars and save money on fuel with incentive programs, and making it easier to charge or fuel them: 1.3 Mt of carbon pollution reduced by 2030
  • The Province is speeding up the switch to cleaner fuels at the gas pump – with further reductions to the carbon intensity of transportation fuels: 4.0 Mt of carbon pollution reduced by 2030
  • Every new building constructed in B.C. will be “net-zero energy ready” by 2032. Along the way, government is requiring new buildings to be more efficient, and ramping up funding for renovations and energy retrofits to existing homes and offices, including $400 million to support retrofits and upgrades for B.C.’s stock of publicly funded housing: 2.0 Mt of carbon pollution reduced by 2030
  • Government is helping B.C. to reduce residential and industrial organic waste, turning it into a clean resource: 0.7 Mt of carbon pollution reduced by 2030
  • The Province is helping industry lower its emissions and reduce its pollution: 8.4 Mt of carbon pollution reduced by 2030

CleanBC is a B.C.-specific approach to making our communities strong and vibrant for decades to come as we rise to the challenge of global climate change,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We can build a low-carbon economy that includes all sectors and all workers. Together, we can protect our children’s future, while making life more affordable today.”

The Province is committed to giving people the skills they need to thrive in the low-carbon economy. As part of this strategy, government is developing a CleanBC labour readiness plan to address the labour and workplace opportunities that emerge through the implementation of CleanBC.

“We can make things more efficient, use less energy and waste less, while we make sure that the energy we use is clean and made in B.C.,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “We look forward to continuing our work with resource industries that have been taking action over the last two decades to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that are embracing the responsibility to do more.”



CleanBC: Reactions from around North America

Gov. Jay Inslee, Washington State –

“At a time when we are being reminded daily of the immediate and growing threat posed by climate change, British Columbia is helping blaze a trail toward hope and opportunity. Premier Horgan’s vision builds on B.C.’s history of climate leadership and building momentum for action along the West Coast and beyond.”

Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon State –

“Congratulations to Premier Horgan and British Columbia for taking bold new steps to tackle climate change and build the clean energy economy of the future. As recent scientific reports have indicated, we have no time to waste, and states and provinces must work together to lead the way as we challenge climate change.”

Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada –

“British Columbia has shown real leadership on climate action in Canada and on the world stage. A decade ago, British Columbia put a price on pollution, and has since cut pollution, led the country in economic growth and built the fastest-growing clean tech sector in Canada. Their climate leadership is good for the environment and it’s good for the economy.”

Grand Chief Dr. Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs –

“Without a doubt, climate change is the absolute deadliest and most crucial issue of our time and requires strong, decisive action. Indigenous peoples bear the disproportionate brunt of climate change, while having contributed relatively little to the problem. The Province of B.C. has committed to full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the Truth and Reconciliation Commission identifies as THE framework for reconciliation. CleanBC is an opportunity for the Province to put this commitment into action, and truly involve Indigenous peoples in every step of the way. Any climate change plan must be developed in conjunction with Indigenous peoples, and must recognize and uphold our inherent Title and Rights, and Treaty Rights, and be consistent with the historic Supreme Court of Canada’s Tsilhqot’in Nation judgement. As we learn more from climate scientists about the targets we need to meet in order to avoid an environmental crisis, the Province must take action accordingly. This includes the shift toward a total phase-out of fossil fuels, as a decarbonized economy is made a reality. I have 15 beautiful grandchildren and I will do everything in my power to ensure I am protecting them, and all peoples throughout the world, from the negative environmental and health impacts of accelerating global climate change.”

Merran Smith, executive director, Clean Energy Canada, co-chair, Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council –

“The true test of a government’s climate-change plan is whether it puts us on course to cut pollution while building momentum for our transition to clean energy. CleanBC provides a framework to do just that, and with a clear commitment to deliver results, the B.C. government and B.C. Greens are poised to resurrect the province’s role as a climate leader.”

Marcia Smith, senior vice-president of sustainability and external affairs, Teck Resources Limited, co-chair, Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council –

“This new strategy recognizes that by maintaining B.C.’s economic competitiveness, we will be able to provide the commodities, goods and innovation the world needs for the transition to a low-carbon future. This is a tremendous economic opportunity that B.C. industries and communities are well-positioned to seize on to create jobs and prosperity.”

Hannah Askew, executive director, Sierra Club BC –

“CleanBC is a bold and welcome step forward in the race to combat the climate crisis and secure a better future for British Columbians. It will benefit those of us here today and upcoming generations. CleanBC demonstrates how, in today’s polarized world, we can come together to turn the climate challenge into opportunities for a more just world of shared prosperity and resilience, and to protect the natural world on which we all depend.”

Greg D’Avignon, president and chief executive officer, Business Council of British Columbia –

“Climate change is a global challenge. Tools within the CleanBC plan support the Low-Carbon Industrial Strategy and position B.C. businesses and the province to be a supplier of choice for international markets seeking lower-carbon-intensive energy, commodities and other inputs for their expanding economies. Acting on these strategies, British Columbia can play an outsized role in reducing global climate impacts in high-emission jurisdictions, while building a competitive and innovative economy for British Columbians and reducing emissions here at home.”

Laird Cronk, president, BC Federation of Labour –

“The government’s clean growth strategy represents a historic opportunity to develop a new, sustainable economy that works for working people in all communities across the province. We’re committed to working together on just and fair transition strategies to protect existing workers and to ensure that new employment opportunities created by the CleanBC plan are good, family- and community-supporting jobs.”

Andrew Gage, staff lawyer, West Coast Environmental Law –

“With some governments moving away from real climate action, we are excited to see our provincial government with a credible and ambitious map of how it is going to achieve its 2030 climate targets. There are still details to be filled in and hard questions to be answered, but we finally have a plan and a transparent process for making sure that the plan gets completed and implemented. Congratulations to the B.C. government.”

Mark Jaccard, professor, Simon Fraser University –

“This plan returns B.C. to global climate leadership. Ten years ago, our world-leading clean electricity standard prevented two coal and one natural gas plants – keeping our electricity zero-emission. Today’s adoption of the ZEV mandate, combined with the Low Carbon Fuel Standard put B.C. as a world leader in de-carbonizing transportation in an affordable way. These are the two critical sectors for reducing GHGs in wealthier countries, but especially in developing countries.”

Karen Tam Wu, B.C. director, Pembina Institute –

“B.C.’s new climate plan signals an exciting vision for a clean economy. In just over 10 years, all new homes and buildings will be low carbon. In just over 20 years, all new cars sold will be zero emissions. Going forward, we will generate more clean electricity and renewable fuels, and burn less oil and gas. With other provinces faltering on climate action, B.C.’s climate strategy brings hope for all Canadians concerned about the well-being of their families and communities.”

Prem Gill, CEO, Creative BC –

“As the organization responsible for the creative industries’ economic growth, Creative BC proudly supports the new CleanBC plan. It is through initiatives like the ‘Reel Green’ strategic collaboration that B.C.’s film and T.V. production industries are showing global leadership with sustainable production practices that are reducing our carbon footprint.”

Stephen Cornish, CEO, David Suzuki Foundation –

“Most British Columbians know climate change is harming us now and we need to respond. Today, the B.C. government delivered Phase 1 of a plan that repositions the Province as a Canadian climate leader. British Columbians can be proud to be at the forefront of landmark solutions for transportation and renewable energy.”

Mayor Kennedy Stewart, City of Vancouver –

“Vancouver faces very real impacts with climate change and we must continue to adapt to be more resilient and reduce our carbon pollution. CleanBC will provide British Columbians with more choice and make it easier to keep our homes comfortable and get around our communities without relying on fossil fuels. The support for active transportation, electric vehicles, heat pumps and renewable natural gas are all welcome steps in the transition to renewable energy. Vancouver looks forward to working with the Province to successfully implement this important plan.”

Kathy Kinloch, president, BCIT, and chair of Emerging Economy Task Force –

“B.C.’s transition towards a low carbon economy opens up unprecedented economic opportunity for our province. The CleanBC strategy lays out a plan to build a strong and diverse economy with innovation at its core. We look forward to continuing our work with government to make sure good jobs and economic growth are realized in communities throughout B.C.”

Maria Dobrinskaya, B.C. director, Broadbent Institute –

“When other provinces are notably opposing carbon pricing and opportunities to embrace a cleaner future, the leadership from the B.C. government demonstrated in this climate strategy is very encouraging. CleanBC highlights that not only is there no conflict between prosperity and bold climate action, but there is significant opportunity for strong economic development – for workers, for industry and for communities across our province.”

Ian Cullis, director, asset management, B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association –

“CleanBC provides a clear path to meeting B.C.’s climate targets, outlining reductions for each sector of the economy. The community housing sector consumes 2,564.23 terajoules of natural gas. B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association works closely with BC Housing, FortisBC and BC Hydro to successfully reduce emissions. CleanBC will enable us to further reduce emissions and costs to tenants, creating affordable and financially sustainable buildings for low-income families across B.C.”

Jae Mather, executive director, Clean Energy BC –

“Clean Energy BC applauds the provincial government on the release of CleanBC. It represents the culmination of multiple ministries, perspectives and approaches that forge a climate plan for British Columbia that is the Province’s most ambitious to date. Best practices from around the world are being included, and multiple perspectives sit at the heart of the decision-making frameworks. We are happy to see that the modelling is being shared, enabling us to build upon this great work as we move forward. As a very early adopter of carbon taxation, B.C. has already shown that climate action equates to economic success. We are especially delighted to see that electrification is featured as a core element of CleanBC. We look forward to the opportunities for further clean energy projects with our First Nations partners. Now is the time to embrace this transition.”

Tzeporah Berman, international program director, –

“It’s a relief to have a government in British Columbia taking climate change seriously again and working to reduce pollution. The CleanBC plan has some of the strongest climate policies in North America and British Columbians should be proud. The recent UN report makes clear that we cannot expand fossil fuels and ensure a safe climate. There is hard work still ahead for British Columbia in the second phase of the plan to reduce emissions from industry and I look forward to working with this government to address this challenge.”

Ken Denman, adjunct professor, earth and ocean sciences, University of Victoria –

“The CleanBC climate and economic plan wisely recognizes that there is no ‘silver bullet’ that alone will mitigate climate change. Nor can we wait for an international climate agreement to be reached and eventually implemented by national governments. Much careful thought and work buttresses this plan, which consists of many smaller measures where emissions can be reduced. At the same time, these planned measures will, in many cases, stimulate the provincial economy.”

Back to News