Guest View: Canada following B.C.’s lead on clean fuel standard

Between 2010 and 2015, the use of renewable fuels resulted in the avoidance of an average of 904,000 tonnes of GHG emissions per year

The following is an opinion-editorial written by B.C. Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett:

Last week, the federal government began a conversation with Canadians about a national clean-fuel standard that will help Canadians meet our national greenhouse gas emissions commitments. I’m guessing 99 per cent of everyone reading this will not know that the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement a clean fuel standard is us, you and I, British Columbia.

The policy is simple but extremely effective. Fuel suppliers in B.C. are required to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. We call our provincial policy the Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation, and this regulation that no one has heard about is currently B.C.’s largest single emissions-reduction initiative. It’s thanks to this regulation, implemented in 2010, that the gasoline and diesel fuel you pump at the gas station contains renewable content like ethanol and biodiesel.

Between 2010 and 2015, the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels resulted in the avoidance of an average of 904,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year – the equivalent of removing more than 190,000 cars from the road.

While other provinces (and the federal government) have introduced renewable content requirements, B.C.’s system goes beyond just requiring renewable content in gas and diesel fuel by recognizing the carbon intensity of producing, processing, transporting and using both petroleum-based fuels and biofuels. In fact, B.C. is the only province in Canada (and with California and Oregon, one of only three jurisdictions in North America) with a clean-fuel standard that requires the reduction of the carbon intensity of transportation fuels based on a complete lifecycle analysis.

Our low-carbon fuel requirement currently calls for a 10 per cent reduction in the “well-to-wheels” carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 2020, and under B.C.’s new Climate Leadership Plan we’re increasing the target to 15 per cent by 2030.

When we require a 10 per cent reduction in 2020, the quantity of avoided greenhouse gas emissions is expected to be 2.7 million tonnes annually, and at 15 per cent in 2030, the reductions would be over four million tonnes per year.

The low-carbon fuel requirement is a market-based approach to achieving emission reductions. It uses a lifecycle assessment to determine the overall carbon intensity of transportation fuels. This includes factors associated with the production and consumption of each fuel – for example, the exploration and production of fossil fuels, production of crops for biofuels, and the refining, transport and end-use of the fuel are all accounted for.

One of the key features of the low-carbon requirement is its flexibility. Fuel suppliers can reduce the carbon intensity of their fuels and meet the low-carbon requirement in a number of ways, including improving agricultural practices for growing biofuel crops and supplying more low-carbon fuels such as propane, natural gas, electricity or hydrogen, or renewable fuels such as biodiesel or ethanol. In addition, fuel suppliers can acquire low-carbon fuel credits from another supplier who supplies low-carbon fuels, or create compliance credits by undertaking actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the greater use of low-carbon fuels.

Our government supports Canada’s wise decision to follow British Columbia’s lead and consider implementing a clean fuel standard throughout the country.

We look forward to sharing our expertise and experience in future pan- Canadian discussions on a national standard.

 

Just Posted

Grim situation in coming year for northwest, B.C. fisheries

Annual post-season review in Prince Rupert informs DFO on how to manage 2019 fishing season

Council to host public hearing on cannabis sales zone

A look ahead to tonight’s Prince Rupert City council meeting

Rainmakers wait out storm in Vancouver

Prince Rupert basketball team mentally prepare for home opener at Charles Hays gym on Friday

Another windstorm expected Monday, causing ferry delay

With another windstorm expected to hit Haida Gwaii on Monday afternoon, BC… Continue reading

Nurses wanted, Northern Health promotes Prince Rupert in new video

There are 38 nursing job positions available in the area

Prince Rupert Rampage host Teddy Bear night

Prince Rupert Rampage teamed up with the Salvation Army to give back this weekend

Shop Prince Rupert is back

These businesses are all taking part in the Shop Prince Rupert event until December 21 at noon

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Most Read