B.C. fails to be on track for 2020 greenhouse gas emission target: audit

NDP question Liberals over auditor general’s report on climate change
WATCH ABOVE: The NDP questioned the Liberals on Tuesday over an auditor general's report which found only Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were on track to meet 2020 emissions targets.

When it came down to meeting the goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, B.C. and the majority of the country came up short.

A new national audit, conducted by federal environment commissioner Julie Gelfand and auditors general in nine provinces, showed seven out of 12 provinces and territories did not have an overall target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Even though B.C. did set some benchmarks, the report found the province is not on track to meet them anytime soon.

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Auditor General of B.C. Carol Bellringer said she was surprised with the small amount of work the province has done to reach the goal.

“[B.C.’s Climate Action Secretariat] only had three employees work on adaptation and 36 employees working on mitigation, so while it was something going on in the province, lots of good action, we would’ve expected something more central in terms of control and leadership,” Bellringer said.
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Watch: Elizabeth May says Canada ‘behind’ on climate change targets

Elizabeth May says Canada ‘behind’ on climate change targets
Elizabeth May says Canada ‘behind’ on climate change targets

Federal Commissioner of the Environment Julie Gelfand said she spoke to 33 municipalities around B.C. to discuss what needs to be done in their communities.

“I was surprised at how few departments had actually done a complete risk assessment,” Gelfand said. “We looked at 19 federal departments and found that only five had done a complete risk assessment.”

The goal is for Canada to reach 30 per cent fewer emissions than 2005 levels.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick only provinces on track to meet 2020 emissions targets: audit

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were the only two provinces on track to meet their 2020 targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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The success in the two provinces was attributed to an increasing use of renewable energy as well as the shut down of two mills in 2012 and an increase in oil prices which led to less demand for fossil fuel.

  • With files from the Canadian Press