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Are voluntary greenhouse gas reductions enough? An assessment of BC's industrial emitters

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Author: Card, Amanda
British Columbia has taken specific policy action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in order to meet its legislated target: a 33% reduction in GHG emissions below 2007 levels by 2020. This study evaluates whether voluntary actions by emission-intensive firms in combination with the preliminary effects of BC’s carbon tax can potentially reduce industrial GHG emissions in line with the 2020 target. While findings are tentative due to limited time elapsed and data available for a comprehensive assessment, my analysis indicates that current policy and actions are not sufficient to reach BC’s fast-approaching GHG reduction target. Corporate approaches to manage emissions are assessed alongside facility GHG performance from 2004 to 2010. In order to put industrial GHG reductions on track to meet BC’s 2020 target, two policy directions are explored: an increase in the price per unit of carbon through a higher level of BC’s carbon tax, or performance standard regulations.
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