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BC releases greenhouse gas emissions statistics

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:54 PDT, Thu August 6, 2020

Last Updated: 2:36 PDT, Mon August 24, 2020

BC’s net greenhouse gas emissions totalled 66.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2018, according to reports released this week.

This represents a net increase of 3.5 million tonnes (six per cent) from 2007 levels, the baseline year for BC’s legislated emissions reduction targets, and a net increase of 2.6 million tonnes from 2017.

The data from 2018 do not include actions from CleanBC, the province’s climate action and clean economy plan, which was announced in December 2018. Implementation began in 2019.

Two changes from the federal government led to revisions of previous years’ emissions numbers and increased the gap between BC’s 2007 baseline year and 2018 numbers. First, the federal government changed how marine transport emissions are calculated. The new methodology means that BC’s 2007 baseline year was revised downward slightly from the previous emissions inventory.

In addition, gross emissions numbers, not including offsets, for 2017 were revised upward slightly, due to new estimates for fuel use in oil and gas extraction, heavy-duty vehicles, commercial and institutional buildings and light-duty gasoline-powered trucks.

Taken together, these two technical changes made by the federal government for previous years’ emissions were equivalent to 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent—or more than 75 per cent of the gap between the new 2007 emissions baseline and 2018.

Total gross emissions in 2018 also increased by 2.2 million tonnes from the previous year due to increases from sectors including heavy-duty diesel vehicles, oil and gas extraction, off-road industrial transport, and light-duty gasoline-powered trucks.

The province has put new requirements into law that government must present detailed annual reports to the legislature tracking progress made toward CleanBC targets. These emission numbers will form the basis of that report.

To view the full 1990-2018 provincial inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, click here.

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