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British Columbia

  Last Updated:  

January 1, 2021


5,110,917 (1)

Current majority government:

Premier: John Horgan, New Democratic Party

Number of Members of Legislative Assembly in BC: 87 

  • New Democratic Party: 57 

  • Liberal: 28 

  • Green Party: 2 

Find your Member of the Legislative Assembly here: (2)

Environmental stance of majority party:

The B.C. NDP is focused on reducing climate pollution while simultaneously creating more jobs and economic opportunities for people, businesses and communities. Their main goals are to move towards clean energy and low carbon solutions. (3)

Percentage of 2020/2021 budget estimated to be allocated to the environment:

Total budget: $60.1 billion 

Total allocated to the Environment: $245 million 

Percentage: 0.408% (4)

Main provincial-level legislation for environment protection:

Climate Change Accountability Act (CCAA) (2007):

  • Legislated targets to reduce GHG emissions, accountability framework and requirements for the public sector (Carbon Neutral Government Program).

Carbon Tax Act (2008): 

  • Provides incentive for choosing sustainable alternatives that produce fewer emissions by putting a price on GHG emissions. 

Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act (2016): 

  • Requires industry members to report their GHG emissions, provides regulations to control their emissions, and provides penalties for those who display non-compliance with the act. 

Clean Energy Act (2010): 

  • Sets energy objectives for the province and mechanisms for clean and renewable energy, GHG reductions and switching fuel to lower-carbon-intensity energy. 

Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements) Act (2008): 

  • Sets requirements for the use of renewable energy in transportation fuel and displays B.C.’s commitment to adopt a low-carbon fuel standard. 

Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Emissions Standards) Statutes Amendment Act (2008): 

  • Focuses on reducing GHG emissions from particular industrial operations, and increasing opportunities in the bioenergy sector. 

Local Government (Green Communities) Statutes Amendment Act (2008): 

  • Supports local governments in reducing GHG emissions, conserving energy and building sustainable, compact communities. 

Utilities Commission Amendment Act (2008): 

  • Urges public utilities to reduce GHG emissions and generate and acquire electricity from clean or renewable sources. 

Energy Efficiency Act (1996): 

  • Sets energy standards for devices that use, control or affect the use of energy (e.g. appliances, heating/cooling systems, lighting, industrial equipment). 

Building Code Amendments and Regulations (2014):

  • Requirements for energy efficiency for houses and small buildings. (5)

Specific government-based environmental programs:

Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program: 

  • Provides funding to local governments equal to the carbon taxes they pay directly to support local government operations (encourages investment in climate action). (6)

First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund: 

  • Encourages Indigenous community participation in the clean energy sector within their traditional territories and treaty areas. (7)

Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (CleanBC Communities Fund): 

  • Up to $63 million allocated to support infrastructure projects in communities across B.C. focused on management of renewable energy, access to clean-energy transportation and improved building energy efficiency. (8)

Next election date:

On or before October 16, 2021. (10)

Extra information:

Premier John Horgan vowed during the 2017 election to challenge the federal government and stop the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Premier John Horgan stood before both the B.C. Court of Appeal (May 2019) and the Supreme Court of Canada (January 2020), both unsuccessful. (11)

What makes this province different?

B.C. holds 2 of 3 Green Party seats in all of Canada following the 2019 federal election. (12)

  Quick facts:  

The B.C. COVID-19 Action Plan includes increasing and expanding the B.C. Climate Action Credit in July 2020. (13)

As temperature rises, at a rate of 1.4○C per century in British Columbia, the length of the winter tourism season will decrease. (14)

Climate change increases the frequency of dry summers which contributes to forest fire severity. (15)

Glacial retreat impacts drinking water quantity and quality, agriculture, and winter tourism: all glaciers in B.C have retreated since 1985. (16)

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