British Columbia plays a special role in the pollution and warming of the atmosphere, according a new report from the Dogwood Initiative on BC’s rapidly expanding coal industry and its implications for the province’s contributions to climate disruption.
The BC government plans to reduce emissions by 33 percent from 2007 levels by 2020. Yet BC is preparing to emit more than its fair share of climate threatening pollution due to the province’s steady increase in coal production and export.
As the Dogwood Initiative report shows, BC is outsourcing more than just dirty energy: the province’s carbon emissions are nearly doubled when you factor in BC coal burnt in other countries.
Burning coal has been singled out as the largest cause of global warming. The coal reserves in B.C’s proposed and operating coal mines, if burned, would produce 14.8 billion tonnes of heat-trapping pollution, amounting to 6.35 per cent of the total carbon emissions scientists believe humanity can safely emit globally in the next 90 years.
On top of BC’s proposed 18 new coal mines, the province also facilitates the export of the dirty fuel from our neighbors to the south.
“Big coal in the U.S. is running out of domestic markets as regulations tighten up and power plants are shut down,” says Horter. “These companies are looking for export markets overseas, and they are turning to BC to get their coal off the continent.”