FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
B.C. Carbon Emissions Four Times Higher Than Reported
New Sierra Club BC report reveals uncounted emissions from fossil fuel exports and forests
Victoria - B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions quadruple when emissions from forests and fossil fuel exports are counted, according to a Sierra Club BC report released today.
In June, the B.C. government reported that the province’s 2010 emissions had dropped by 4.5 percent to 62 million tonnes. But the Sierra Club report reveals that B.C.’s annual emissions are actually four times higher, totalling more than 250 million tonnes when uncounted emissions from forests and fossil fuel exports are included.
Proposed new gas terminals and coal mines would result in close to 300 million tonnes of additional annual greenhouse gas emissions, says the report. That’s on top of another 100 million tonnes of emissions from the proposed Enbridge pipeline (the pipeline’s total carbon footprint).
“Half of our polar ice cap is missing, but the BC government is proposing new coal mines and gas terminals without paying attention to the consequences for global warming,“ said Sierra Club BC forest campaigner Jens Wieting, co-author of the report, “Emissions impossible? British Columbia’s Uncounted Greenhouse Gas Emissions.”
The report warns that, if current emissions remain unchecked and new fossil fuel infrastructure built as planned, by 2020 British Columbia could contribute over 600 million tonnes of emissions, more than doubling current emissions – a figure 10 times higher than official provincial emissions.
Sierra Club BC is calling for a new climate action plan that positions B.C. as a world leader by counting emissions from fossil fuel exports and forests, as well as for B.C. to meet stricter reduction targets that address all sectors of our economy and land use.
“We can fool ourselves but we can’t fool the atmosphere,” said Sierra Club BC Science Advisor Dr. Colin Campbell. “We have turned a blind eye to our true carbon footprint but the good news is that when we look at the big picture we have many more opportunities to reduce emissions drastically than we have so far imagined.”
Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC Forest Campaigner: (604) 354-5312
Dr. Colin Campbell, Sierra Club BC Science Advisor: (250) 361-6476