Getting results with CleanBC

Learn about the programs, policies and actions taken across all sectors to help meet our climate goals.

For more information on CleanBC actions taken in 2020 to 2021, read the 2021 Climate Change Accountability Report (PDF, 6.9MB) and the 2021 Supporting Material (PDF, 5.3MB), which has sections for mitigation, engagement and climate preparedness. These documents do not include actions from the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, released in late 2021.

Page last updated: Oct. 25, 2021

On this page:

Cleaner transportation

  • 2019 emissions: 26.8 million tonnes of GHGs (39% of total)
  • Emissions change from 2007: Up 22%

To reach our 2030 targets, B.C. is focusing on programs such as the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standard, ZEV rebates and charging infrastructure, lower carbon fuels, advancing technology for commercial uses, and making it easier to use transit, cycle and walk.

Transportation highlights

An electric bicycle and van at a charging station.

  • As of June 2021, 10.6% of all new light-duty vehicle sales in 2020 were ZEVs, exceeding B.C.’s 10% by 2025 target
  • Renewable content in transportation fuels increased to 7.8% in 2019 (0.5% in 2001)

  • In 2019, B.C.’s ZEV sector contributed $600 million to provincial GDP
  • Supported 89 projects to improve walking, cycling and transit in communities through the Active Transportation Grants Program and StrongerBC

Actions for vehicles

  • Mandated 100% of new cars and light trucks to be ZEVs by 2040
  • Expanded the charging network with home and work charging stations, with over 2,127 public Level 2 charging stations, 480 public fast charging sites and additional hydrogen fuelling stations
  • Launched new CleanBC Go Electric Fleets program and Commercial Vehicles Pilot Program
  • Continued rebates for cleaner heavy-duty and light-duty vehicles under Go Electric program
  • Delivered 17 electric school buses
  • Increased investment in the Specialty Use Vehicle Incentive Program with double the rebates for tourism and hospitality businesses under StrongerBC
  • Supported the electric vehicle sector through the second year of CleanBC Advanced Research and Commercialization (ARC) funding
  • Provided fuel-saving driving and management training to over 3,000 drivers in second year of the Heavy-Duty Vehicle Efficiency Program
 
  • Enable private investment in charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure to get more stations faster
  • Announced new $30 million Commercial Vehicle Innovation Challenge under StrongerBC

Actions for fuels

  • Regulated the increase in the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) to a 20% reduction in average carbon intensity from 2010 levels by 2030
  • Signed Part 3 agreements under the LCFS to support $2.2 billion of industry investment in 22 projects that produce and supply low carbon fuels
  • With the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA), created HydrogenBC (HyBC), with an initial mandate to promote fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen fuelling stations
  •  Increasing renewable fuel supply to meet B.C.’s target of producing 650 million litres a year in B.C. by 2030. B.C. is on track to exceed this target five years early, with agreements to produce 884 million litres a year by 2025

Transit and active transportation

  • Supported 89 community projects under the Active Transportation Grant Program and StrongerBC
  • Launched the UBCM Active Transportation Planning program
  • Removed provincial sales tax (PST) on e-bikes
  • Provided funding toward provincial active transportation education and encouragement campaigns:
    • Fall 2020 Go by Bike events across B.C.
    • Everyone Rides Grade 4 to 5 program launch
    • Active School Travel program launch
  • Launched a three-year e-mobility pilot in multiple communities in the Interior, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island to research, test and evaluate the use of electric kick scooters as a safe, affordable and clean mode of personal transportation. 
  • Launched a cargo e-bike micro-hub pilot project with City of Vancouver
  • Expanded public transportation across B.C., including 52 new sky train cars in Metro Vancouver, 60 new CNG buses in Victoria and new battery-electric bus purchases by BC Transit and Translink for use in 2022
  • Began construction on Broadway subway project and early works on Surrey-Langley SkyTrain
  • Launched program to allow children 12 and under to ride for free on any TransLink or BC Transit system
  • BC Ferries is operating two Island Class ferries designed to be fully electric in the future, with four more ferries due to launch in 2022
 
  • BC Transit plans to have fully electric provincial fleet by 2040. Translink will transition to a fleet operating entirely on renewable energy by 2050
  • Make vehicles run cleaner by increasing tailpipe emissions standards for vehicles sold after 2025

Better buildings and communities

  • 2019 emissions: 14.1 million tonnes of GHGs (21% of total)
  • Emissions change from 2007: Down 12%

B.C. is focusing on improving energy efficiency and encouraging building upgrades through incentives and education. Multi-year funds are supporting new technologies, expanding clean infrastructure, energy and transportation projects, as well as improving facilities and programs to address organic waste and plastics.

Building and community highlights

  • To date, 52 communities have increased energy efficiency standards for buildings through the BC Energy Step Code
  • Increased uptake of Better Homes Better Buildings rebates in 2020/21 by 74% from previous year (11,578 rebates) and use of free energy coaching by 50% (11,587 citizens) 
  • 74% of B.C.’s population is now covered by organic diversion programs, up from 3% of population in 2007
  • The energy intensity of residential buildings was 28% lower in 2018 than in 2007. Energy intensity in commercial buildings was 14% lower.

Two dog walkers in front of a series of residential buildings.


Better  buildings

  • Improved energy efficiency standards required by law for gas boilers, residential windows and doors, and computers and monitors
  • Supported building energy efficiency requirements through local adoption of the BC Energy Step Code
  • Funded 21 projects worth $8 million through a second intake of the CleanBC Building Innovation Fund under StrongerBC, focussing on technology ready for commercialization
  • Develop technical requirements for 20% energy efficiency improvement in the BC Building Code by 2022, the first step toward “net-zero energy ready” by 2032
  • Adopt new standards by 2024 for existing building upgrades that address energy efficiency and examine opportunities to address climate resilience, including heat waves, wildfires and floods
  • Improve building energy information available to buyers and renters

Support for building improvements

  • Continued rebates for heat pumps, windows, doors and insulation upgrades through CleanBC Better Homes and Better Buildings and developed an income qualified program to
  • Introduced incentives for heat pumps and the construction of new highly energy efficient, electric homes
  • Launched CleanBC Better Homes Low Interest Financing to provide loans with interest rates as low as 0% for switching to heat pumps
  • Introduced an easy-to-use program for small businesses to receive incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in existing commercial buildings 
  • Approved 51 energy studies and 79 capital projects for businesses and public sector organizations
  • Supported the Reframed Lab for retrofit demonstration projects on up to five multi-unit residential buildings
  • Allowed landlords to apply for additional rent increases for capital expenditures that achieve a reduction in energy use or greenhouse gas emissions
  • Provide $1.1 billion over 10 years for social housing to improve living conditions, energy efficiency, and reduce emissions. Nearly $241 million has been invested in projects that include energy efficiency improvements and 271 projects covering over 12,000 units are underway or competed
 
  • Partnering with Landlord BC on a pilot program for rental apartments under CleanBC Better Homes and Better Buildings 
  • Develop and engage on a new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, a form of on-title financing secured through local governments for property owners to implement energy retrofits

Support for communities

  • Invested approximately $54 million in federal and provincial funding for 16 clean infrastructure, energy and transportation projects under the first intake of the CleanBC Communities Fund
  • Funded three projects in remote and Indigenous communities to transition to cleaner energy from diesel through the Renewable Energy for Remote Communities program
  • Invested approximately $191 million in federal and provincial funding for 49 clean infrastructure, energy and transportation projects through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s Community Culture and Recreation, Environmental Quality, Rural and Northern Communities, and COVID Recovery Infrastructure Streams
  • Supported Indigenous-led clean energy and energy efficiency projects through BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative and in collaboration with the New Relationship Trust
  • Processing approvals for additional projects under the second intake of the CleanBC Communities Fund
  • Plan and implement additional funding intakes under the BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative

Reducing waste

  • Supported 14 new projects under the cost-shared CleanBC Organics Infrastructure Program to significantly expand capacity at compost facilities
  • Launched the CleanBC Organic Infrastructure and Collection Program to expand infrastructure and programs to divert organics from landfills
  • Released the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan in 2019
  • Approved plastic bans in nine local governments, created a new regulation to allow local governments to ban single-use plastics and developed a legal framework to allow for provincial bans on single-use items
  • Launched the CleanBC Plastics Action Fund to increase the use of recycled plastics and the Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative Fund under StrongerBC to clean up marine shoreline and derelict vessels

Cleaner Industry

Oil and gas industry:

  • 2019 emissions: 13.4 million tonnes of GHGs (19% of total)
  • Emissions change from 2007: Down 1%

Other industry:

  • 2019 emissions: 14.3 million tonnes of GHGs (21% of total)
  • Emissions change from 2007: Up 2%

B.C. is focusing on the CleanBC Program for Industry and methane regulations to spur innovation and reduce emissions in large facilities in the near term. Medium term actions will expand industrial access to clean electricity while longer term actions focus on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and increasing the supply of cleaner hydrogen and biofuels.

Industry highlights

An industrial facility in front of electric power lines.

  • Methane emissions reported from the upstream oil and gas sector decreased by 12% in 2019 compared to 2014
  • B.C. industries and the Province are moving forward with $139 million in 35 emission reduction projects (from 2019 and 2020 projects)

Reducing carbon pollution

  • Implemented world-leading emissions performance benchmarks across industrial sectors under the CleanBC Industrial Incentive Program (CIIP), which directs a portion of B.C.’s carbon tax paid by industry into incentives for cleaner operations.  Companies representing 88% of total reported industrial emissions participated in the program and were covered by a worldleading emissions performance benchmark
  • Launched the CleanBC Industry Fund in 2019, committing approximately $43 million in carbon tax revenue to industrial emission reduction projects across the province over a three-year period. CIF supported 13 projects in 2019 and 2020, totalling more than 400,000 tonnes of CO2e to 2030 and 22 additional projects in 2021 totalling almost 1 Mt CO2e
  • Launched two new funding opportunities under the CleanBC Industry Fund for industry to pilot clean technologies and support feasibility studies
  • Brought new regulations into force January 2020 to reduce methane emissions from upstream oil and gas operations by 45% from 2014 levels by 2025
 
  • Carrying out research projects through the BC Methane Emissions Research Collaborative to inform a review of the methane regulations by the Oil and Gas Commission by the end of 2022

Industrial electrification

  • Completed new 2021 agreement with Government of Canada and BC Hydro to reduce rates and lower the costs of connecting to the electricity grid to help industries, public transportation agencies and neighbourhood energy systems reduce emissions and attract new investment to B.C.
  • Increased access to clean electricity for large operations with the Peace Region Electricity Supply project now in-service
  • Launched a new CleanBC Facilities Electrification Fund to help customers reduce  the costs of connecting to the electricity grid or upgrading their connections
 
  • BC Hydro and government acting on the first set of recommendations under Phase 2 of the BC Hydro Review, including developing a 100% clean standard, speeding up connections to the electricity grid and providing a discounted rate to cleaner industries
  • BC Hydro is developing its Integrated Resource Plan, outlining how it plans to safely provide reliable, affordable, clean electricity to meet customers’ needs now and into the future, to be filed with the B.C. Utilities Commission in 2021
  • Continue construction of new electricity transmission infrastructure to facilitate fuel switching and electrification of industrial operations (phase 2)

Technical innovation

  • Released B.C.’s Hydrogen Strategy to increase adoption of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the province
  • Shared commitment of up to $105 million between public and private partners to support launch of a new Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy in fall 2021, focussed on carbon capture, utilization and storage; low carbon  hydrogen; bio and synthetic fuels; renewable natural gas; and battery systems
  • Included $500 million in financing through Budget 2021 for the InBC Strategic Investment Fund, where investment decisions will be made independent of government and guided by government’s priority of supporting specific economic, social and environmental policies
  • Ensure a regulatory framework for safe and effective underground CO₂ storage while participating in development of the federal carbon capture utilization and storage strategy
  • Partner with the Government of Canada to develop and test integrated markets for clean technologies in B.C.

Building a forest bioeconomy

  • Invested $4.2 million through the StrongerBC Mass Timber Demonstration Program to accelerate the use of mass timber and support B.C. jobs in research, design, engineering, construction and forestry
  • Partnered with First Nations under the Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program on projects to develop and manufacture high value bioproducts such as essential oils, tannins or birch water, as well as assess new forest fibre supply chain models
  • Partnering with the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia, BC Timber Sales, Forests-for-Tomorrow and others through the Forest Carbon Initiative to invest in forest fertilization, reforestation, tree improvement through genetics and better use of wood fibre to reduce the burning of slash piles
  • By the end of 2021, the BC Pulp and Paper Bio-Alliance industry members and its funding partners will have committed more than $10 million to support development efforts including: 
    • Value-added products for construction and mining from mill ash
    • Barrier paper solutions for food and construction
    • Bioenergy generation from biomass syngas/renewable natural gas
    • Renewable (plastic replacement) products from lignin  

Helping people get the skills they need

  • Supported training on the B.C. Energy Step Code provided by B.C.’s housing and construction industry
  • Supported development of retrofit industry best practices training by the Home Performance Stakeholder Council
  • Together with partners, supported training to help automotive technicians and electricians prepare for a growing EV sector
  • Continued to co-fund the development of professional learning opportunities (called the Adaptation Learning Network: Inspiring Climate Action) and launch of 11 climate change adaptation courses via seven B.C. universities
  • A Workforce Readiness Framework is being developed ​to guide government investments in post-secondary education and training to ensure British Columbians have the skills required for job opportunities expected to arise as CleanBC, the Roadmap to 2030 and B.C.’s new Economic Plan are implemented
  • Mandate contractor requirements for the Better Homes and Better Buildings portfolio of programs

Carbon pricing

  • Increased B.C.’s carbon tax rate to $45 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) April 1, 2021, to continue to encourage lower emissions through a price on pollution. To help provide relief during COVID-19, a previously scheduled increase was postponed in 2020
  • The carbon tax rate is scheduled to increase to $50 per tonne on April 1, 2022

Climate preparedness

B.C. is working with Indigenous Nations, local governments and many organizations throughout B.C. to prepare for the impacts of climate change and reduce risks to our communities.

In June 2021, the Province released B.C.'s draft Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy. This province-wide strategy builds on the work already underway, presents immediate actions to help keep us safe and adapt to climate change, and proposes a series of future actions. Public input on the strategy and actions was collected in summer 2021.

The strategy organizes actions under four key pathways:

  1. Strengthening our foundations
  2. Enhancing community climate resilience
  3. Fostering resilient species and ecosystems
  4. Advancing a climate-ready economy and infrastructure

The Adaptation Table in the Supporting Material details actions we’ve taken and actions currently planned under these pathways.

An electric heat pump installed in a home.

Highlights for 2020 to 2021

  • Released B.C.'s draft Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy in June 2021
  • Developed six draft principles to help guide the Province’s work on climate adaptation, based on what we heard during engagement
  • Invested $90 million through StrongerBC to reduce wildfire risk, improve roads and highways, conserve wetlands and ecosystems and support adaptation on farms
  • Continued work to modernize the emergency management legislation to focus on disaster risk reduction and enhancing climate resilience

Worked to help keep people safe and prepared for our changing climate with actions such as:

  • Supported evaluation of the health impacts of wildfire-related air pollution and an initial assessment of a heat vulnerability index
  • Identifying climate risks to drinking water systems
  • Monitoring how climate changes impact the job market
  • Continuing work through the food security task force
  • Developed a hazard mapping program allowing a more efficient response to climate-related emergencies impacting children in care

Collaborated across ministries and with organizations to make our infrastructure and economy more climate-ready. Highlights include:

  • Expanded the capacity of monitoring networks for flood, drought and water quality
  • Focussed on agricultural water storage and updated forestry operations in anticipation of greater water scarcity and changing growing conditions
  • Developed processes and guidelines to account for climate change when designing public sector buildings and provincial transportation infrastructure
  • Continued developing a B.C. Flood Strategy with Indigenous peoples and other levels of government
  • Finalized work to modernize land use planning with a $16M commitment over three years (2018-19 to 2020-21) to support reconciliation, economic opportunities, and land and resource management challenges
 
  • The draft Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy also includes proposed actions for 2022 to 2025. Feedback during engagement in 2021 will be used to inform the next phase of the strategy, expected to be released in 2022

Public sector leadership

B.C.’s public sector organizations (PSOs) include health authorities, school districts, universities, colleges, institutes, Crown corporations and government ministries.

PSOs are working toward accelerating emissions reductions, taking action to prepare for climate change and increasing the use of low-carbon and renewable materials in infrastructure. Learn more about PSO actions and reporting.

PSO highlights

A bicyclist in front of three buildings.

  • PSO have reduced emissions 12.1% since 2010, to 716,745 tonnes CO2e in 2020
  • 34% of applicable core government light duty vehicle purchases were ZEVs in 2020, exceeding CleanBC’s 10% target
  • 2020 emissions from provincial government buildings were 40% less than 2010 levels

Highlights for 2020 to 2021

  • PSOs invested $16.7 million in carbon offsets in 2020 to achieve carbon neutrality for the eleventh year in a row, supporting innovative emission reduction projects across B.C.
  • Increased funding to the Carbon Neutral Capital Program to $56 million per year from $50 million for the next two years to support more energy efficiency retrofits in K-12 schools. Hospitals, universities and colleges and government buildings are also supported through the program
  • Installed 121 EV charging spaces at provincial government buildings
  • In 2020/21 and 2021/22, a combined total of 22 school districts ordered a total of 52 electric school busses
  • The CleanBC Government Buildings program initiated 28 building retrofits, including a net-zero energy major retrofit
  • Piloting the Integrated Building Adaptation and Mitigation Assessment framework through BC Housing on an affordable housing new construction project
  • Released the Climate Resilience Guidelines for BC health facility planning and design
  • Completed three climate risk assessments of buildings in Vancouver, Kamloops, and Prince George as a pilot of a new methodology
  • Completed more than 50 asset-specific climate risk or vulnerability assessments in the portfolio under CleanBC Government Buildings Program
  • To better understand physical climate risks to public buildings, the Climate Action Secretariat led a pilot project testing the XDI Platform with select PSOs
  • Implemented a new Energy and Emissions Assessment Framework requiring
    PSOs to include options to adopt energy efficiency measures and deploy low carbon heating and cooling systems in capital projects to reduce GHGs
  • Work with partners to develop energy performance targets after expanding BC Energy Step Code to apply to public sector buildings
  • Development of Climate-Ready Public Sector Buildings Strategy to reduce emissions and build climate resilience in existing buildings