Carbon emissions in British Columbia in 2017 were only slightly below 2007 levels despite a long-running strategy to fight climate change that includes a carbon tax, new data show.
The data released Monday by the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change measured 64.46 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 compared with 64.76 million tonnes in 2007.
“There’s no question we have a lot of work to do, and we have no question that it’s challenging, not just for us, obviously, but for Canada and the world,” said Environment Minister George Heyman.
B.C. implemented North America’s first broad-based carbon tax in 2008 to put a price on carbon pollution, which currently stands at $40 per tonne and is slated to increase to $50 per tonne by 2021. The current carbon tax amounts to about nine cents per litre of gasoline and other fuels.
Mr. Heyman said the increases in emissions were associated with B.C.’s growing economy in 2017.
Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said he was concerned with the emissions levels, saying ordinary B.C. residents are doing their part to fight pollution, but industry emissions are largely rising.
He said the carbon tax has spurred innovations in the green economy and prompted people to conserve energy, but government programs to support liquefied natural gas and oil and gas extraction will increase greenhouse gas emissions.