Clean economy

Around the world, investors are recognizing the need for a faster transition away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy solutions. Through CleanBC and the Roadmap to 2030, B.C. is supporting the innovation and technological change needed to meet global demand and establish B.C as a leading exporter of low carbon products and solutions.

Together with industry and partners we’re working to make low-carbon solutions affordable and widely available across all sectors in order to meet our climate goals and build new low-carbon economic opportunities.

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Economy in 2030

B.C. has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40% from 2007 levels by 2030. The CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 maps out the most promising routes to reach this target and set the course to fulfill our net-zero commitment by 2050.  

Here are some ways our economy could look different based on the actions in the Roadmap to 2030:

  • Through the development of a Circular Economy Strategy, more resources are reused, repaired, recycled and reintroduced as new products instead of being thrown away
  • Increased use of clean power sources like hydrogen and electricity instead of gas and diesel
  • B.C. cleantech companies are creating innovative technologies that remove greenhouse gas emissions from our atmosphere

Carbon pricing

B.C.’s carbon tax puts a price on pollution to encourage people, businesses and industry to reduce emissions and switch to cleaner, more sustainable economic activity and investments in low-carbon innovation. The carbon tax is an important part of the Province’s CleanBC plan.

The current carbon tax rate is $45 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) and is applied to the purchase and use of most fossil fuels in the province. The rate is scheduled to increase to $50 per tonne on April 1, 2022. To help provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, a previously scheduled increase was postponed in 2020.

As part of the Roadmap to 2030, B.C.’s carbon tax will meet or exceed any federal carbon price requirements starting in 2023, with continued measures to protect affordability and a strong economy.

Revenues generated from carbon tax increases have helped provide support for low- and middle-income people through the Climate Action Tax Credit, and maintain industry competitiveness and encourage new clean initiatives through the CleanBC Program for Industry. These targeted programs are helping industry compete in a global clean energy economy that is increasingly looking at company environmental performance as a key metric for investments.


Supporting cleaner growth

Through CleanBC and other measures, the Province is supporting advances in technology that can help meet our emissions goals while growing a cleaner economy that is ready for the significant global transition ahead.

Technological innovation

  • Innovate BC supports technology startups and entrepreneurs through programs, sponsorship and competitions
  • The Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund supports research, development and commercialization of new clean energy technologies
  • B.C. is developing a provincial approach to support carbon capture and storage research, development and deployment as part of the Roadmap to 2030
  • The Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy launches in fall 2021 to accelerate and scale-up B.C. based energy technologies including carbon capture, utilization and storage, low carbon hydrogen, bio and synthetic fuels, renewable natural gas and battery systems. The Centre is funded through federal, provincial and private investment
  • Budget 2021 includes $500 million in financing for the InBC Strategic Investment Fund. Investment decisions will be made independent of government, but will be guided by government priorities of supporting specific economic, social and environmental policies, such as moving toward a cleaner economy and advancing reconciliation
  • Under the Roadmap to 2030, B.C. will develop a strategy for a circular economy, where waste is eliminated and resources are reused, repaired, recycled and reintroduced as new products
  • B.C. is investing in a recycled plastics manufacturing stimulus fund, to help expand the use of innovative technologies to turn used plastics into new products, increase local processing capacity for recycling and create jobs
  • The Emerging Economic Task Force (PDF, 3.4MB) and B.C.’s Innovation Commissioner (PDF, 1MB) released reports in 2020 that include recommendations to leverage B.C.’s green economy through CleanBC 

Low-carbon products and services

  • In 2019, B.C.’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sector encompassed:
    • Over 250 companies and organizations
    • Over $600 million in direct contribution to the provincial GDP 
    • Over $1.1 billion in total economic output 
    • About 6,000 full-time jobs
  • The CleanBC Industry Fund and Industrial Incentive Program support industries in becoming cleaner, more innovative and ready for global opportunities in the clean economy
  • Cleantech companies in B.C. generated an estimated $2 billion in domestic revenue, exported nearly $1.2 billion in goods and services and employed more than 9,700 people in 2018. The 2020 Global Cleantech Top 100 list includes four B.C. companies
  • B.C. carbon offset projects are a way for industry and public sector organizations to invest in emission reduction work carried out by businesses and local governments. Purchasers apply reductions from the projects to their own emissions targets
  • The CleanBC Building Innovation Fund supports the development and demonstration of new construction methods and building materials to increase their accessibility and affordability

Learning and skills

  • The Province supports ZEV technician training programs like the Electric Vehicle Maintenance Training program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus, College of New Caledonia’s Prince George campus and Camosun College’s Interurban campus in Victoria
  • The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training program through the Electrical Joint Training Committee (EJTC) is also helping meet the need for more electric vehicle-related services
  • StrongerBC is creating more than 1,400 jobs by investing nearly $50 million in projects that restore and conserve species, ecosystems and wetlands. It also invests in projects to reduce the risk of wildfires on Crown land that will create more than 500 jobs in rural communities
  • The Energy Step Code Council supports training on the B.C. Energy Step Code to help increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions in the housing and construction industry
  • BCIT created the Zero Energy Buildings (ZEB) Learning Centre to support the construction industry’s transition to the BC Energy Step Code and City of Vancouver Zero Emissions Building bylaws

Expanding our options for clean energy

Affordable clean energy is critical for a low-carbon economy. Companies operating in B.C. today have significant market advantage thanks in part to our abundant clean energy system. Through CleanBC, the Province is advancing the next phase of innovative clean energy options.

Clean electricity

  • While nearly all electricity generated in B.C. is from clean or renewable sources, the majority of energy used across our economy still comes from fossil fuels. 
  • The CleanBC Facilities Electrification Fund helps industrial customers reduce the costs of connecting to the electricity grid or upgrading their connections
  • BC Hydro and government are acting on the first set of recommendations under Phase 2 of the BC Hydro Review, including developing a 100% Clean Energy Delivery Standard, speeding up connections to the electricity grid and supporting the switch to clean power for more industries and businesses
  • As part of its plan to reduce GHGs and connect more customers to clean electric power, BC Hydro will spend more than $50 million to attract new industries that want to lower their carbon footprint through clean power

Lower carbon fuels

  • Under the Roadmap ot 2030, B.C. will strengthen the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, requiring fuel suppliers to make continuous reductions in their products’ carbon intensity
  • B.C. will double its commitment to develop production capacity for made-in-B.C. renewable fuels to 1.3 billion litres per year by 2030
  • FortisBC’s Clean Growth Innovation Fund supports advances in clean technologies like renewable natural gas, carbon and methane capture with $4.9 million per year in funding for four years. Fortis has pledged to reduce its customers' emissions 30% by 2030
  • The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation (GGRR) enables utilities to promote adoption of lower carbon fuels like electricity and renewable natural gas in the transportation, built environment and industrial sectors

Hydrogen economy

  • Hydrogen fuel is carbon free at point of use and can be created with raw materials that are readily available in B.C., including clean electricity. As hydrogen supply continues to grow, it can be:
    • Used in fuel cells to power electric vehicles, stationary power systems, and off-road industrial vehicles
    • Used to replace diesel in remote and rural communities
    • Blended with natural gas to create a cleaner burning fuel and increase the renewable content in natural gas
  • B.C. has the largest hydrogen fuelling network and the first public hydrogen fuelling station in Canada
  • The 2021 B.C. Hydrogen Strategy calls for the creation of regional hydrogen hubs, scaled up production of renewable hydrogen and other actions to support innovation in the sector

Preparing for climate change

Extreme wildfires, flooding and other effects of a changing climate are already having an impact on the economy. Preparing for these changes will help preserve our water, air and natural resources, reduce the costs associated with climate impacts, and ensure B.C.’s economy continues to thrive.

Climate-resiliency and adaptation

  • B.C.’s draft Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy includes actions the Province is taking in 2021 and 2022 to strengthen our capacity to anticipate and respond to the impacts of climate change, as well as proposed actions for 2022 to 2025
  • StrongerBC commits $90 million to actions that will help the province prepare and adapt to climate change. These include:
    • Upgrading B.C. highways and roads to ensure safe movement of people and goods in the event of increased flooding
    • Reducing the risk of wildfires on Crown land to protect communities and infrastructure
    • The On-Farm Top Up program, which encourages farm practices that help mitigate the impacts of climate change
    • Funding ecosystem conservation, watershed restoration and other projects that create jobs for people in harder hit sectors such as tourism and hospitality

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