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Comments on the British Columbia Greenhouse Gas Action Plan

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Greenhouse Gas, Energy
Rolfe, Christopher

The British Columbia Greenhouse Gas Action Plan was published in November 1995 by the British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. It reflects British Columbia's contribution to Canada's international commitment to stabilize emissions of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the year 2000. This is a goal shared by British Columbia; however, the authors of the Greenhouse Gas admit that it will not achieve stabilization of British Columbia's emissions.

Will the B.C. Greenhouse Gas Action Plan be successful in limiting the growth of B.C.'s greenhouse gas emissions to 4% above 1990 levels in the year 2000? Does it for the basis for paving the way to a smooth transition to a sustainable economy?

Before discussing the adequacies of the Plan, it is important to understand the very real needs for very stringent reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases. The first part of this paper discusses the developing scientific consensus that global climate change is a very real phenomena. It is a phenomena that is happening now and which requires real action.

This paper next discusses the emission reductions that will be necessary to avoid the worst effects of global climate change. These emission reductions must be kept in mind when assessing the B.C. Greenhouse Gas Action Plan. The Plan should not only stabilize emissions at 1990 levels, but also pave the way to major reductions in emissions in the early part of the next century.

This paper finds that current trends indicate that both British Columbia and Canada will fail to meet their commitment to stabilize at 1990 levels by 2000. Indeed, unless implementation of the Plan is dramatically improved B.C. will far exceed the 4% growth in emissions. The Plan is weak in a number of regards. It fails to provide a credible quantification of projected emissions and emission reductions under the Plan. It does not include many essential cost effective measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, many important and positive aspects of the Plan do not appear to be being implemented.

Publication Date: 
April 1, 1996
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