March 26, 2021 (Vancouver, B.C.) – In response to the B.C. Government’s announcement on sectoral targets, the Business Council has released the following statement on behalf of President and CEO, Greg D’Avignon:
“The Business Council of British Columbia continues to support efforts to reduce emissions across our province and country in the ongoing fight against climate change. However, it is important these efforts and policy solutions be supported by resources and complementary policies which enable the competitive growth and investments that drive innovation, job creation and meaningful reconciliation.
"The targets announced today are non-binding but are a catalyst for the province to act quickly on their previous commitments to provide certainty and address the unique global disadvantage faced by B.C. energy-intensive trade-exposed industries which supply the world, and British Columbia, with lower carbon-intensive commodities and energy.
"Without smart policies which attract investment and retain production of our relatively low carbon goods in B.C., we run a risk of incremental de-industrialization and the loss of high-paying private sector jobs. Further, we risk contributing to carbon leakage which will see the increasing global market demand for natural resources being supplied by higher carbon-intensive jurisdictions.
“As previously submitted to government, B.C. companies have already identified and deployed many low-cost abatement measures to reduce greenhouse gases. The next increment of reductions will be much harder to find and substantially more expensive to achieve. Government has an obligation to deploy all the tools necessary to meet the objectives of any new legislation or regulations concerning GHG targets. Industry cannot make progress alone, especially over a time frame of less than 10 years.
"With appropriate and clear policy solutions, developed in recognition of the realities of capital investment cycles, British Columbia can seize the opportunity to further act on reducing global and local emissions through B.C. natural resource exports which are half the GHG intensity of competing jurisdictions, thanks to our leading low carbon advantage.
"With a stable investment climate and long-term growth opportunities, B.C. firms and operators are able to invest further in emissions-reducing innovations in smart infrastructure, transportation and supply chains to continue to advance our mutual climate goals.”
About the Business Council of British Columbia
Now in its 56th year as the premier business organization in British Columbia, the Business Council of B.C. is a non-partisan organization made up of over 200 leading and largest companies, post-secondary institutions and industry organizations from across B.C.'s diverse economy. The Council produces exceptional public policy research and advocacy in support of creating a competitive economy for the benefit of all British Columbians.
Cheryl Maitland Muir