Climate Target Accountability
BC may have had the best of intentions to show leadership in stopping runaway climate change, but failed to come even close to achieving its 2016 and 2020 targets. In setting new targets for 2030, the legislation introduced in May 2018 also scrapped the 2020 target all together.
Learning from the more successful track records in GHG reductions achieved by countries such as Sweden and the UK, establishing carbon budgets as the centerpiece of a transparent and robust Climate Accountability regime is the tried and true path to take. Based on best practices from Canadian, UK and Swedish law, this regime would establish enforceable carbon budgets for periods of 5-years or less, including sub-budgets for the industrial, building and transport sectors.
Recommended requirements to ensure that the carbon budgets are enforceable include:
- Independent monitoring and verification of government progress towards achieving budgets and assessing the adequacy of BC’s targets in light of the Paris Agreement;
- Requirements that environmental assessments and other authorizations of greenhouse gas emissions be consistent with carbon budgets;
- Clear, unambiguous language requiring Ministers to ensure budgets are achieved, with effective sanctions for non-compliance; and
- Requirements that carbon budgets and reports are presented alongside the Budget to ensure greater political scrutiny.
We call on the BC government to develop and enact enforceable carbon budgets as part of its Climate Action Plan currently in development, including sub-budgets for the industrial, building and transport sectors.