Carbon Engineering’s pilot project at Squamish B.C. began in 2018, extracting carbon dioxide from air to convert to liquid fuel. (Carbon Engineering)

B.C. VOTES 2020: NDP promises carbon neutral province by 2050

Trans Mountain lays first B.C. pipe, LNG Canada continues

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan went to Squamish for his latest campaign event in the surprise 2020 election, adding to his series of long-range goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Not only will B.C. eliminate 80 per cent of its current carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, a re-elected NDP government will mandate in legislation that the province will reach a “carbon neutral” state the same year, Horgan said at the headquarters of CO2 extraction pioneer Carbon Engineering on Oct. 2.

That means all new emissions from vehicles, industry and buildings have to be offset by reductions in other places, natural carbon sinks such as additional forest, or industrial-scale removal as Carbon Engineering plans to do.

During the Horgan government’s three years in office, it set the latest 80-per-cent emission reduction target. It has also legislated that B.C. will allow only zero-emission new vehicles to be sold by 2040, which means battery or hydrogen fuel cell power, assuming technology available today.

The commitments are in the NDP’s “CleanBC” plan, developed with the B.C. Green Party to meet a goal of reducing B.C.’s annual emissions 19 million tonnes by 2030. Horgan says this can be done even as work carries on for the LNG Canada and Coastal Gaslink pipeline project across northern B.C., and the Trans Mountain oil pipeline twinning project from Edmonton to an expanded export terminal in Burnaby and increasing supply to refineries in Washington state.

“We believe we have space in our plan for new emissions, but not excessive new emissions,” Horgan said, adding that a smaller liquefied natural gas project at Squamish is still in the works. Since forming a minority government with B.C. Green support in 2017, Horgan’s government strained that working arrangement by offering new tax incentives for LNG Canada.

RELATED: B.C. legislates zero-emission new vehicles by 2040

RELATED: B.C. Greens battle LNG project, NDP tax incentives

Trans Mountain announced this week it has laid the first B.C. pipe in its pipeline twinning project near Kamloops. Work on the Alberta side has been mostly completed, and tank capacity and loading dock expansion for diluted bitumen exports out of Westridge terminal are well underway.

Coastal Gaslink has work camps in place across northern B.C., and the LNG Canada processing and export facility is underway at Kitimat.

Carbon Engineering started its pilot project for extracting CO2 directly from the air at Squamish in 2018, and has gathered investment support from Chevron and other petroleum companies, as well as Alberta oil sands executive Murray Edwards and former Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.

In September, fast-growing Canadian digital sales company Shopify was the first to announce its intent to buy carbon removal on a permanent basis once the technology reaches a commercial stage, and to invest in Carbon Engineering’s latest demonstration project, scheduled to begin operating in August 2021.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020Climate change

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Emily Harris (centre) started the in-person Monarch Moms meet-up groups in July, when it was much easier to physical distance in outdoor spaces. Harris started the group as a source of connection for women navigating the ups and downs of having a baby during a pandemic. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Victoria new mom group navigates challenges of motherhood in a pandemic

Monarch Moms meet once a week for physically-distanced connection

Joanne Smith has been visiting Goldstream Provincial Park since she moved to Langford two years ago. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Visitors flock to Goldstream Provincial Park for 2020 salmon run

‘I wanted to come here before I move back to Australia,’ says visitor

The Takaya inspired sculpture currently in Kent Laforme’s outdoor studio. The 25,000-pound piece of Vancouver Island marble could be installed on Cattle Point. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

Royal Bay students are among the list of SD62 schools that will be trained by Pacific FC coaches and staff in a new soccer academy partnership. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Pacific FC partners with Sooke School District soccer academies

Royal Bay, EMCS and Dunsmuir Middle students to receive professional training

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Tree-pruning community gathers in Oak Bay after tragic death

Crews met in solidarity at site of Tuesday incident

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Skiers line up to start the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Photo by Tim Penney
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021

COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again

Reader’s Lens
Richard Ashton took this picturesque scene from Whiffin Spit looking toward the Salty Towers dock and East Sooke. To submit a photo to Reader’s Lens, please email editor@sookenewsmirror.com. (Contributed photo)
Reader’s Lens

Reader’s Lens Richard Ashton took this picturesque scene from Whiffin Spit looking… Continue reading

Most Read