Thursday, May 19, 2011

More Evidence of BC Climate Leadership Failure

Canada's latest greenhouse gas emission inventory report was quietly released this week.  The numbers are from 2009 (it takes over a year to compile the numbers and for some reason Canada seems to be about a month behind most other nations).

The release came only a few days after BC's new premier Christy Clark had announced her commitment to BC's "leadership" on climate change.  So, how do the numbers reflect this "leadership"?

At first glance the 2009 emissions numbers for BC look hopeful.  They are down 3.3% compared to the previous year.  But is this decrease the result of macro economic factors in 2009 or good public policy?  It appears it would be the economics - emissions actually declined for every Canadian province during 2009.
In fact, BC was the third WORST province in annual percentage change between 2008 and 2009.  Only Saskatchewan and Quebec preformed worse (To be fair to Quebec their emissions are actually below 1990 levels - BC's are 28% higher).

Yes, even Alberta had preformed better than BC on a year to year basis.  And they have done so both years since BC introduced the carbon tax.

Although it is still early in the carbon tax regime I think it is becoming increasing clear that this policy measure is inadequate if other policies are not in line with the government's goal of ghg reductions.

The largest increases for BC emissions during the period since 1990 have come from Mining / Fossil Fuel Industries and Road Transportation.  And it is in these two areas that the government continues to show no leadership when it comes to emission reductions. 

The BC Liberals have continued to support and expand subsidies to the oil and gas industry.  At the same time that have invested millions in highway expansion while delaying transit projects.  Their own documents show that significant emission increases can be expected from these projects.

Let's hope the world can find better examples of climate change leadership than BC.