Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

NDP's Simpson 'not 100 per cent sure' party could meet BC climate target

One of the NDP's most prominent candidates, labour opposition critic and caucus chair Shane Simpson, said he's "not 100 percent sure" his party will achieve B.C.'s 2020 climate target if elected to lead the province.

"Can we meet that target?" Simpson said at a multi-party debate on climate and energy Wednesday evening, organized by Clean Energy Canada. "I'm not 100 per cent sure. The platform says we will make every effort to do it."

In fact, the NDP platform promises that a government led by Adrian Dix will "meet BC's legislated greenhouse gas emission reduction targets."

Simpson's response was prompted by an audience question from University of British Columbia political science professor Kathryn Harrison.

"How would we square dramatic expansion of gas production and LNG exports with the 2020 target?" she asked. "What kind of policies would a government of your party adopt to address those emissions?"

If three liquefied natural gas plants are built along the B.C. coastline, they could grow the province's carbon footprint by 16 million tons, Harrison said.

That growth is "not compatible", she argued, with a provincial climate target that requires total emissions to decrease 33 per cent by 2020.

"Obviously the emissions that will come out of LNG are significant," Simpson said.

Though there are currently 12 project proposals, some put forward by the planet's largest oil and gas companies, Simpson only expected a few liquefied gas terminals would actually get built.

Still, he said, “it's an important industry.” And he acknowledged that, "we will have a challenge in terms of emissions."

An NDP government would offset some of the industry's carbon footprint, he suggested, by "looking at ways to reduce emissions in populated areas."

The opposition party widely expected to form B.C.'s next government has also pledged to broaden the province's carbon tax, so that it covers carbon emitted during oil and gas production.

Geoff Dembicki reports for The Tyee.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus