On May 9 and 10, 2023, the Clean Growth Branch at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy hosted a virtual workshop focused on the development of British Columbia’s (B.C.) industrial carbon pricing. 2023 marks a transition year as we move towards an Output-Based Pricing System (OBPS) and the Government of British Columbia is still seeking engagement on its development. Please consider providing feedback before the deadline and review the key highlights from the sessions below.
BC Output-Based Pricing System (OBPS)
The workshop emphasized the transition to the BC OBPS for large industrial emitters, which is set to begin in 2024. Under the OBPS, a facility's emissions intensity will be assessed based on their performance standard for that year. Facilities below the emission limit can sell earned credits or bank them for future use, while facilities above the limit have compliance obligations and can use offset units, direct payments, or earned credits.
Carbon Pricing and CleanBC Industry Fund
British Columbia aims to increase its carbon price to $65/tonne of CO2e emissions per year, rising by $15/tonne each year till it reaches $170/tonne in 2030. The CleanBC Industry Fund, which supports emission reduction initiatives, will undergo its own transition in 2023 to align with the new BC OBPS.
Clean BC Industrial Incentive Program will remain in place for 2023 and through Q1 of 2024. OBPS for large emitters is anticipated to begin in April 2024.
The workshop discussed upcoming policies and engagements related to the clean industry transition in B.C. Highlights include:
- Changes to the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act (GGIRCA): The focus of regulatory changes in 2023 includes participation in the OBPS, verification requirements, compliance obligation rules, offset powers and protocols, registry participation and accounts, enabling carbon capture and storage, and facilitating the transition.
- CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 and BC Offset Program: The CleanBC Roadmap aims to achieve net-zero emissions province-wide by 2050 and reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 75% by 2030. The BC Offset Program, under GGIRCA, establishes protocols for quantifying emissions reductions and issuing offsets. The program covers various areas, including forest carbon, methane capture, and blue carbon. Protocols that fall under the CleanBC Roadmap include:
- Upcoming Industrial Policies: BC plans to introduce an oil and gas cap to limit emissions and achieve reduction targets. Stakeholder engagement on the cap, including allocation, credit trading, and offsets, is set to begin this spring. The province is also working on a net-zero industry policy that requires new projects emitting over 10,000 tonnes of CO2e to demonstrate a net-zero emissions plan. Engagement sessions and feedback opportunities will be available.
The virtual workshop provided valuable insights into BC's efforts to improve industrial carbon pricing and promote a clean industry transition. We encourage you to participate in the survey and share your feedback on the carbon pricing system and related policies. The deadline for submitting feedback is May 23, so don't miss this opportunity to have a say in shaping the future of carbon pricing in British Columbia.