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

Drive up voting is popular with Victoria-Swan Lake voters at the Craigflower elementary polling station. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Drive up voting popular at Craigflower polling station in Victoria-Swan Lake

Nearly 13,000 mail-in ballots were requested in the Victoria-Swan Lake riding

Oak Bay High voting station was slow and steady for the provincial election day, Oct. 24, 2020. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Early voting reduces election day turnout in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

An estimated 15,918 mail-in ballots requested in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

This was the line-up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre at around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The short-up line speaks to the high number of votes, which have already been cast against the backdrop of COVID-19 by mail or in advanced voting. Voters, however, unanimously praised the safety measures in place, as well the convenience of the polling stations. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
‘Slow’ turnout at polls across Saanich North and the Islands

Peter Mason, district electoral officer, expects about 10,000 ballots to be cast

Polls close at 8 p.m. in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)
VIDEO: Esquimalt-Metchosin candidates reflect on campaign as polls close

An estimated 12,000 mail-in ballots were requested in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding

Barb Wright and Cynthia Vance at the District Electoral Office for the Langford-Juan de Fuca (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Polls now closed in Langford-Juan de Fuca

An estimated 12,120 mail-in ballots were requested in the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Most Read