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Province releases greenhouse gas numbers for 2017

The province has released the annual inventory of greenhouse gas emissions numbers for 2017.

Total emissions in British Columbia in 2017 were 64.5 million tonnes (Mt) of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e). After accounting for one million tonnes of carbon offsets from forest management projects, net emissions were 63.5 Mt CO2e. Emissions for the year were two per cent lower than 2007 levels, the baseline year for provincial greenhouse gas reduction targets and 1.7 per cent higher than in 2016.

Sectors that saw emissions fall in 2017 included the petroleum and refining industries, oil and gas extraction, afforestation and deforestation, road transport, public electricity and heat production, industrial processes and product use, and waste, among others. Sectors with increases included the manufacturing industry, off-road transport, residential and agriculture.

Overall, the province improved its economic performance, while reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced for every million dollars of gross domestic product (GDP). In 2017, 251 tonnes of CO2e were produced for every million dollars of GDP, a reduction of 2.5 per cent from 2016 levels and a 19.6 per cent improvement since 2007.

The provincial inventory is produced every year by the Climate Action Secretariat in the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. Data is published with a two-year delay to allow time to assemble the information. It is based primarily on the federal government’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report, which forms part of Canada’s submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

In December 2018, the Province announced CleanBC, a plan to create a clean economy by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while providing new opportunities for British Columbians. The plan includes improved reporting and accountability measures, which will be introduced in legislation in fall 2019.

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