The British Columbia government’s new energy action framework will ensure oil and gas sector projects fit within B.C.’s climate commitments and create new opportunities for people in clean energy and technology.

“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,” said B.C. Premier David Eby. “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. It also requires us to forge a new path forward with clean-energy projects that people and communities can count on. We can and must do both.”

Under the new energy action framework, the province will:

  • require all proposed LNG facilities in or entering the environmental assessment (EA) process to pass an emissions test with a credible plan to be net zero by 2030;
  • put in place a regulatory emissions cap for the oil and gas industry to ensure B.C. meets its 2030 emissions-reduction target for the sector;
  • establish a clean-energy and major projects office to fast track investment in clean energy and technology and create good, sustainable jobs in the transition to a cleaner economy; and
  • create a BC Hydro task force to accelerate the electrification of B.C.’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. 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,” said George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “The framework will provide strong, enforceable emissions reduction requirements to make sure we hit our targets and provide predictability for industry.”

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The new framework builds on the recent approval of Cedar LNG, a Haisla Nation-led project that will be the largest First Nations majority-owned infrastructure project in Canada and play a key role in the Haisla’s economic development over the next four decades. The project will be one of the lowest-emitting facilities of its kind in the world. The Province will enter into an memorandum of understanding with the Haisla Nation to help achieve further climate objectives, including exploring ways to enhance environmental performance and lower emissions to near zero by 2030.

“Our province is on the frontlines of climate change and seeing the impacts of record wildfires, heat waves and flooding on people and communities. British Columbians have made it clear that we need to meet our climate targets and move forward as a clean energy leader,” said Josie Osborne, B.C.’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Our new energy action framework will provide certainty for industry, create good jobs and build a clean economy that works better for people, respects First Nations, and protects the climate.”

Colleen Giroux-Schmidt, vice-president of corporate relations, Innergex Renewable Energy Inc., and co-chair of B.C.’s Climate Solutions Council  (CSC), is pleased with recent developments.

“We applaud the Province for building on its CleanBC plan with the release of a new energy framework that will help drive clean economic growth and meet its legislated climate targets. The CSC has been clear that stronger action is needed in order to meet existing Roadmap commitments and this framework is a good step forward to making sure the Province accelerates the development of the clean energy solutions that we need to thrive in a net-zero economy,” said Schmidt.

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Chief Crystal Smith of the Haisla First Nation is also pleased about the new measures.

“The Haisla have been stewards of our lands and waters for generations and take our obligation to be stewards of the land and the living things on it with the utmost importance. We also believe that bold measures are needed to fight climate change to protect the environment and our way of life, while helping to lift Indigenous communities out of poverty,” said Smith. “We appreciate this government’s commitment to take action on climate change and foster the development of a clean-energy economy, while also working to ensure that the oil and gas sector, which provides meaningful opportunity and benefit to many Indigenous communities, can continue to thrive in British Columbia.

Featured image: Government of B.C.

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