The B.C. Government has set a new target for itself in hopes of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the province to 16% below 2007 levels by 2025.

The Province said its new near-term emission target will help keep B.C. on track to reducing carbon pollution.

“Across the province, people are working every day to tackle climate change and make our economy cleaner and stronger,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “It’s clear we still have much more to do in order to meet our CleanBC targets – and I won’t be satisfied until we see a significant and steady decline in emissions. To make sure we stay on track to build a cleaner and stronger future, we’re putting in place a new near-term emission target that is both ambitious and achievable. This is another key step on the path to reaching our climate targets for 2030 and beyond.”

The details of B.C’s climate actions, plans and ideas will also be shared in a new annual Climate Change Accountability Report being tabled by the legislature.

“The report shows that finalizing the detailed roadmap to our full 2030 emission targets has been more challenging than we thought when we released CleanBC two years ago. We are not there yet, but by working hard on our plans to reduce emissions in industry, heavy-duty transport and buildings, and by working with the Climate Solutions Council on its thoughtful recommendations, I believe we will complete this commitment next year,” explained Heyman.

The new emission target of 16% below 2007 levels by 2025, provides a benchmark on the road to B.C.’s legislated emission targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050 of 40%, 60% and 80% below 2007 levels, respectively.

The Province will also set targets for different sectors, which will be established before March 31, 2021, along with the developments of legislation to ensure net-zero emissions by 2050.

“Accountability is only meaningful if it leads to improvement and greater action to address the climate crisis,” said Colleen Giroux-Schmidt, co-chair of the new Climate Solutions Council and vice-president of corporate relations for Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. “The council, like the Province, knows that action and accountability go together. The most recent emission data does not take into consideration the impact of CleanBC programs, but we must not wait to see the result when we know more action is required to achieve our goal of a cleaner, more sustainable world.”

The Province said the annual report is the first of its kind, as a commitment under the Climate Change Accountability Act, which requires the current and all future governments to submit a detailed report on climate action progress to the B.C. legislature. The report includes information on CleanBC actions over the 2019-20 period to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build a greener economy and prepare for the impacts of climate change, as well as the comment of the Climate Solutions Council.

“British Columbia has put in place a rigorous system of accountability and reporting that will help ensure we reach our emission targets and build a clean economy,” said Merran Smith, co-chair of B.C.’s Climate Solutions Council and executive director of Clean Energy Canada. “The introduction of an interim target strengthens that commitment. Clearly, all sectors have more work to do to close the gap.”

According to the B.C. Government, CleanBC is a pathway to a more sustainable, balanced and prosperous future.