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    BC sets new energy framework to meet climate goals


Framework will include a regulatory cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector. [Image credit: ARC Resources]

by: Dale Lunan

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BC sets new energy framework to meet climate goals

Alongside its March 14 approval of the C$3bn Cedar LNG project near Kitimat, the BC government released a new energy action framework it says will ensure oil and gas sector activities fit within the province’s climate commitments.

“Our new energy action framework will help us meet our climate targets and build a better future for all British Columbians, especially our kids and grandkids, in a clean-energy economy,” Premier David Eby said. “Our work on the climate crisis and our commitment to the next generation requires everyone, including the oil and gas sector, to do their part to reduce emissions.”


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Under the new framework, the province will require all proposed LNG projects entering the environmental assessment process to pass an emissions test with a “credible” plan to be net zero by 2030.

“This may involve adopting best-in-class technology to reduce emissions as much as possible and offsetting their remaining emissions through high-quality, verified carbon offset projects,” a government backgrounder said. 

And emissions from the oil and gas sector will be capped to ensure BC meets its 2030 emissions-reduction target for the sector, which accounts for 50% of the province’s industrial emissions and 20% of its total emissions. The current target calls for oil and gas sector emissions to be reduced by 33-38% below 2007 levels by 2030.

Starting in April, the government will engage with First Nations, industry, labour, environmental organisations and other stakeholders to design the regulatory cap, including addressing issues like how the cap will be allocated, credit trading and verifiable offsets.

Consultations will conclude by the end of the year, and the province intends to implement the cap “as soon as possible” after that, the backgrounder said.

On the clean tech side, the province will establish a clean-energy and major projects office to fast-track investments in clean energy and clean energy technologies.

And it will create a task force with provincial grid operator BC Hydro to accelerate the electrification of BC’s economy by powering more homes, businesses and industries with renewable electricity.

“We are committed to taking urgent and innovative actions to fight the climate emergency with a comprehensive plan across all sectors,” environment minister George Heyman said. “By introducing this new framework our province will continue to be a climate action leader, while moving quickly to seize rapidly emerging opportunities for people in the clean-energy and clean-technology economy.”