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This Act is current to October 21, 2020
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Climate Change Accountability Act

[SBC 2007] CHAPTER 42

Assented to November 29, 2007

Contents
1Definitions
Part 1 — BC Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets
2BC greenhouse gas emissions — target levels
3Determination of 2007 baseline level
4Repealed
Part 1.1
4.1Repealed
Part 1.2 — Climate Change Accountability Framework
4.2Advisory committee
4.3Minister's report on climate change risks and progress toward targets
Part 2 — Public Sector Climate Change Accountability
5Carbon neutral public sector
6Requirements for achieving carbon neutral status
6.1Public sector buildings and fleets
7Carbon neutral action reports — Provincial government
7.1Climate change accountability report — Provincial government
8Carbon neutral action reports — other public sector organizations
8.1Climate change accountability report — other public sector organizations
9Obligations may be combined
Part 3 — General Provisions
10Repealed
11Making documents public
11.1Section 5 of Offence Act does not apply
12Regulations
13 Consequential Amendment
14Commencement

Definitions

1   In this Act:

"budget" means a budget presented to the Legislative Assembly under section 6 of the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act;

"carbon neutral", in relation to a public sector organization for a particular period, means that the public sector organization has complied with the obligations under section 6 (1) [requirements for achieving carbon neutral status] to

(a) pursue actions to minimize the relevant greenhouse gas emissions for that period, and

(b) net those greenhouse gas emissions to zero in accordance with that section;

"climate change risks" means the risks to BC that could reasonably be expected to result from a changing climate;

"fiscal year" means the period from April 1 in one year to March 31 in the subsequent year;

"greenhouse gas" means any or all of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and any other substance prescribed by regulation;

"motor vehicle" means

(a) a motor vehicle as defined in the Motor Vehicle Act, and

(b) a prescribed vehicle or class of vehicles;

"offset unit" has the same meaning as in the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act

"Provincial government" means that part of the government reporting entity referred to in paragraph (a) [government as reported through the consolidated revenue fund] of the definition of "government reporting entity" in section 1 (1) of the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act;

"PSO greenhouse gas emissions", in relation to a public sector organization, means the PSO greenhouse gas emissions for which the organization is responsible under the regulations;

"public sector organization" means any of the following:

(a) the Provincial government;

(b) an organization or corporation that is not part of the Provincial government but is included within the government reporting entity under the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act, unless excluded by regulation under this Act;

(c) any other public organization or corporation included by regulation.

"registry" has the same meaning as in the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act;

"retire" has the same meaning as in the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act;

"zero-emission vehicle" has the same meaning as in the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act.

Part 1 — BC Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets

BC greenhouse gas emissions — target levels

2   (1) The following targets are established for the purpose of reducing BC greenhouse gas emissions:

(a) [Repealed 2018-32-2.]

(a.1) by 2030 and for each subsequent calendar year, BC greenhouse gas emissions will be at least 40% less than the level of those emissions in 2007;

(a.2) by 2040 and for each subsequent calendar year, BC greenhouse gas emissions will be at least 60% less than the level of those emissions in 2007;

(b) by 2050 and for each subsequent calendar year, BC greenhouse gas emissions will be at least 80% less than the level of those emissions in 2007.

(2) [Repealed 2019-43-2.]

(2.1) By December 31, 2020, the minister must, by order, establish a BC greenhouse gas emissions target for a specified year that is earlier than 2030.

(3) After December 31, 2020, the minister may, by order, establish BC greenhouse gas emissions targets for other years or periods.

(4) The minister

(a) must, by order made by March 31, 2021, establish greenhouse gas emissions targets for individual sectors, and

(b) must review those targets before the end of 2025 and at least once every 5 years after the first review.

(5) After March 31, 2021, the minister may, by order, establish other greenhouse gas emissions targets for individual sectors.

Determination of 2007 baseline level

3   As soon as reasonably practicable, the minister must determine and make public the 2007 BC greenhouse gas emissions level for the purpose of section 2.

Repealed

4   [Repealed 2019-43-3.]

Part 1.1

Repealed

4.1   [Repealed 2019-43-4.]

Part 1.2 — Climate Change Accountability Framework

Advisory committee

4.2   (1) The minister must appoint an advisory committee to provide advice to the minister as set out in subsection (2).

(2) Each calendar year, the advisory committee must, in accordance with terms of reference established by the minister, provide advice to the minister on matters respecting climate change, including the following:

(a) plans and actions to achieve the targets referred to in section 2;

(b) plans and actions to mitigate and manage climate change risks;

(c) opportunities for sustainable economic development and job creation while the Province is transitioning to a low-carbon economy;

(d) the effects on individuals and businesses that result from actions to address climate change, including actions to

(i) reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and

(ii) manage climate change risks;

(e) any other matters specified by the minister respecting climate change.

(3) The advisory committee may consist of up to 20 members, at least half of whom must be women.

(4) The advisory committee must include at least one representative from each of the following groups:

(a) Indigenous peoples;

(b) local governments;

(c) environmental organizations;

(d) academics;

(e) unions;

(f) persons living in rural and remote communities;

(g) the business community.

(5) The minister must publish the names of the members of the advisory committee on a publicly accessible website maintained by the ministry of the minister.

(6) The term of an advisory committee member's appointment may not exceed 6 years.

(7) Members of the advisory committee are to be reimbursed for travelling and out-of-pocket expenses reasonably incurred by them in discharging their duties under this Act.

Minister's report on climate change risks and progress toward targets

4.3   (1) In 2020, and in each subsequent calendar year, on or after October 1, the minister must prepare a report that includes all of the following:

(a) a determination of the BC greenhouse gas emissions in the most recent calendar year for which measurements of BC greenhouse gas emissions are available;

(b) an estimate, based on the most recent budget and greenhouse gas emissions data in the provincial inventory, of the BC greenhouse gas emissions in each of the following years:

(i) the calendar year in which the report is prepared;

(ii) the subsequent 2 years;

(c) an estimate of the BC greenhouse gas emissions in each calendar year between the years referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) (i);

(d) a description of the actions taken, including expenditures, during the previous fiscal year to

(i) reduce BC greenhouse gas emissions, and

(ii) manage climate change risks;

(e) a description of the actions proposed, including planned expenditures, in the most recent budget to

(i) reduce BC greenhouse gas emissions, and

(ii) manage climate change risks;

(f) the outcomes that could reasonably be expected to result from the actions referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e);

(g) the advice received by the minister under section 4.2 (2);

(h) plans to continue progress toward

(i) achieving the targets referred to in section 2, and

(ii) managing climate change risks;

(i) any other prescribed matters.

(2) In 2020, and in every fifth calendar year after that, the report must include a determination of climate change risks.

(3) In a year not referred to in subsection (2), the report must include the most recent information about climate change risks.

(4) The minister must lay the report prepared in accordance with this section before the Legislative Assembly

(a) during the calendar year in which the report is prepared, or

(b) if the report is completed after the last day that the Legislative Assembly sits in a calendar year, during the first sitting of the Legislative Assembly in the subsequent calendar year.

Part 2 — Public Sector Climate Change Accountability

Carbon neutral public sector

5   (1) Each public sector organization must be carbon neutral for the 2010 calendar year and for each subsequent calendar year.

(2) and (3) [Repealed 2014-29-59.]

Requirements for achieving carbon neutral status

6   (1) In order to be carbon neutral for a calendar year, a public sector organization must

(a) pursue actions to minimize its PSO greenhouse gas emissions for the calendar year,

(b) determine its PSO greenhouse gas emissions for that calendar year in accordance with the regulations, and

(c) no later than the end of June in the following calendar year,

(i) in the case of a public sector organization that is not the Provincial government, enter into an agreement described in subsection (4), and

(ii) in the case of the Provincial government, ensure that the minister, on behalf of the Provincial government, directs the director under the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act to retire offset units sufficient to net the Provincial government's PSO greenhouse gas emissions to zero.

(2) [Repealed 2014-29-59.]

(3) The Provincial government must acquire and deposit to the government's holding account in the registry offset units sufficient to ensure that public sector organizations are able to meet their obligation to be carbon neutral for a calendar year.

(4) A public sector organization and the minister, on behalf of the Provincial government, must enter into an agreement that sets out the terms and conditions the minister considers necessary or advisable, and that are consistent with the directives of Treasury Board, on which the minister will direct the director under the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act to retire offset units on behalf of the public sector organization.

(5) On the direction under this section of the minister, the director under the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act must retire offset units from the government's holding account.

Public sector buildings and fleets

6.1   A public sector organization must manage the risks to the public sector organization that could reasonably be expected to result from a changing climate and minimize the public sector organization's adverse environmental effects by complying with the prescribed requirements and achieving the prescribed targets respecting

(a) buildings owned or leased by the public sector organization,

(b) motor vehicles and other mobile combustion sources owned or leased by the public sector organization, and

(c) the fuels used in or by the things referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b), that are owned or leased by the public sector organization, and the infrastructure used to dispense those fuels.

Carbon neutral action reports — Provincial government

7   (1) Beginning with a report for the 2008 calendar year, and continuing with a report for every subsequent calendar year, the minister must prepare, and make public no later than the end of June of the following calendar year, a carbon neutral action report in accordance with this section.

(2) [Repealed 2014-29-59.]

(3) The carbon neutral action reports for 2010 and subsequent calendar years must include the following:

(a) a description of the actions taken by the Provincial government in the relevant calendar year to minimize its PSO greenhouse gas emissions;

(b) its plans to continue minimizing those emissions;

(c) a determination of its PSO greenhouse gas emissions for the relevant calendar year;

(d) a statement of the offset units retired on behalf of the Provincial government in relation to those emissions;

(e) any other information required by regulation.

Climate change accountability report — Provincial government

7.1   (1) Beginning with a report for the 2020 calendar year, and continuing with a report for each subsequent calendar year, the minister must prepare, and make public no later than the end of June of the following calendar year, a climate change accountability report in accordance with this section.

(2) A climate change accountability report prepared in accordance with this section must include the following:

(a) a description of the actions taken by the Provincial government in the relevant calendar year to minimize its PSO greenhouse gas emissions;

(b) the Provincial government's plans to continue minimizing those emissions;

(c) a determination of the Provincial government's PSO greenhouse gas emissions for the relevant calendar year;

(d) a statement of the offset units retired on behalf of the Provincial government in relation to those emissions;

(e) a description of the actions taken by the Provincial government in the relevant calendar year to comply with the requirements and to achieve the targets prescribed for the purposes of section 6.1;

(f) any other prescribed information.

Carbon neutral action reports — other public sector organizations

8   (1) Beginning with a report for the 2008 calendar year, and continuing with a report for every subsequent calendar year, each public sector organization, other than the Provincial government, must prepare, and make public no later than the end of June of the following calendar year, a carbon neutral action report in accordance with this section.

(2) [Repealed 2014-29-59.]

(3) The carbon neutral action reports for 2010 and subsequent calendar years must include the following:

(a) a description of the actions taken by the public sector organization in the relevant calendar year to minimize its PSO greenhouse gas emissions;

(b) its plans to continue minimizing those emissions;

(c) a determination of its PSO greenhouse gas emissions for the relevant calendar year;

(d) a statement of the offset units retired on behalf of the public sector organization in relation to those emissions;

(e) any other information required by regulation.

Climate change accountability report — other public sector organizations

8.1   (1) Beginning with a report for the 2020 calendar year, and continuing with a report for each subsequent calendar year, each public sector organization other than the Provincial government must prepare, and make public no later than the end of June of the following calendar year, a climate change accountability report in accordance with this section.

(2) A climate change accountability report prepared in accordance with this section must include the following:

(a) a description of the actions taken by the public sector organization in the relevant calendar year to minimize its PSO greenhouse gas emissions;

(b) the public sector organization's plans to continue minimizing those emissions;

(c) a determination of the public sector organization's PSO greenhouse gas emissions for the relevant calendar year;

(d) a statement of the offset units retired on behalf of the public sector organization in relation to those emissions;

(e) a description of the actions taken by the public sector organization in the relevant calendar year to comply with the requirements and to achieve the targets prescribed for the purposes of section 6.1;

(f) any other prescribed information.

Obligations may be combined

9   If satisfied that it is appropriate to do so, the minister may, by order, permit or require 2 or more public sector organizations to be treated as a single organization for the purposes of this Part.

Part 3 — General Provisions

Repealed

10   [Repealed 2014-29-59.]

Making documents public

11   If a person or public sector organization is required to make a document public under this Act, the person or public sector organization meets that obligation by making the document available to the general public in a reasonable manner, which may include by electronic means.

Section 5 of Offence Act does not apply

11.1   Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Act or the regulations.

Regulations

12   (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) prescribing a substance, whether it is normally gaseous or not, as a greenhouse gas;

(b) prescribing organizations or corporations as being included within, or excluded from, the definition of "public sector organization";

(b.1) prescribing categories of information that public sector organizations must provide to the minister for use in preparing the minister's public report under section 4.3, the timeframes in which that information must be provided and circumstances in which public sector organizations are exempt from providing that information;

(c) respecting the form of measurement in which greenhouse gas emissions are to be expressed for the purposes of this Act;

(d) respecting what are deemed to be BC greenhouse gas emissions and the basis on which and the methodology by which these greenhouse gas emissions and their levels are to be determined including, without limiting this, respecting accounting for offset units in the determination of BC greenhouse gas emissions;

(e) authorizing the minister to revise previously determined BC greenhouse gas emission levels and establishing criteria that must be applied by the minister in doing this;

(f) respecting what are deemed to be PSO greenhouse gas emissions for which a public sector organization is responsible and the methodology by which these greenhouse gas emissions and their levels are to be determined;

(g) [Repealed 2014-29-62.]

(h) providing exemptions from the obligations under section 6 [requirements for achieving carbon neutral status];

(h.1) prescribing requirements and targets respecting buildings referred to in section 6.1 (a), including, without limitation, requirements and targets respecting

(i) energy efficiency, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and adverse environmental effects,

(ii) standards relating to energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions and environmental effects,

(iii) assessing and planning to minimize the PSO greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and adverse environmental effects resulting from the use of buildings,

(iv) assessing, managing and reporting on the risks to buildings that could reasonably be expected to result from a changing climate, and

(v) building design, construction, commissioning, retrofitting, decommissioning, demolition, operation and maintenance;

(h.2) prescribing requirements and targets respecting motor vehicles and other mobile combustion sources referred to in section 6.1 (b), including, without limitation, requirements and targets respecting

(i) the purchase or lease of zero-emission vehicles,

(ii) the purchase or lease of motor vehicles and other mobile combustion sources that are capable of using specified fuels,

(iii) fuel efficiency, and

(iv) assessing and planning to minimize the PSO greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the use of motor vehicles and other mobile combustion sources;

(h.3) prescribing requirements and targets respecting fuels and infrastructure referred to in section 6.1 (c), including, without limitation, requirements and targets respecting

(i) the use of specified fuels, and

(ii) the installation of infrastructure to dispense electricity or other fuels;

(h.4) prescribing circumstances in which a public sector organization is not required to comply with a requirement or achieve a target prescribed for the purposes of section 6.1;

(i) requiring reports under section 7.1 or 8.1 [climate change accountability reports] to be verified in accordance with the regulations;

(j) providing exemptions from the reporting obligations under section 8.1 [climate change accountability reports] in relation to a calendar year;

(k) respecting agreements under section 6 (4);

(l) establishing additional reporting requirements in relation to greenhouse gas emissions and related matters;

(m) respecting the preparation of reports required under this Act including, without limiting this, respecting the timing, form and content of those reports, and respecting records that must be maintained in relation to these reports and access that must be provided to those records;

(n) defining words and expressions used but not defined in this Act;

(o) respecting any other matter for which regulations are contemplated by this Act.

(3) A regulation under this Act may do one or more of the following:

(a) delegate a matter to a person;

(b) confer a discretion on a person;

(c) make different regulations in relation to

(i) different matters or circumstances or different classes of matters or circumstances, and

(ii) different public sector organizations or classes of public sector organizations.

(4) A regulation under this Act may adopt by reference, in whole, in part or with any changes considered appropriate, a regulation, code, standard or rule

(a) enacted as or under a law of another jurisdiction, including a foreign jurisdiction, or

(b) set by a provincial, national or international body or any other code, standard or rule making body,

as the regulation, code, standard or rule stands at a specific date, as it stands at the time of adoption or as amended from time to time.

Consequential Amendment

[Note: See Table of Legislative Changes for the status of section 13.]

Section(s) Affected Act
13 Hydro and Power Authority Act

Commencement

14   This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.