PREMIER Christy Clark announced on Tuesday at NMV Lumber in Merritt the measures she will take if necessary to stop the shipment of thermal coal through British Columbia.
“Ideally, the federal government will act on our request to ban thermal coal in our ports – but if they don’t, British Columbia will charge a carbon levy on it,” said Clark. “By doing so, British Columbia will establish the world’s first greenhouse gas benchmark for thermal coal – and make it uncompetitive to ship through B.C. ports.”
Should the federal government not implement a thermal coal ban, a re-elected BC Liberal government will develop regulations under the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act to ensure all thermal coal shipped to B.C. terminals is subject to a carbon price – approximately $70 per tonne – that reflects the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the extraction, processing, transportation and combustion of thermal coal through a BC terminal.
“I am hopeful that our federal partners will act on my suggestion – and act quickly,” said Clark. “But if they don’t, and if we are re-elected, I will instruct the civil service to immediately begin drafting the regulatory framework – and impose a levy on thermal coal that will make these shipments unprofitable.”
Thermal coal is among the dirtiest and most carbon-intensive methods to generate power and heat. Last year, 6.6 million tonnes of thermal coal was exported through BC ports, 94 per cent from the United States. The vast majority of coal mined in British Columbia is metallurgical coal, used in steel-making.
“Banning thermal coal is the right thing to do for BC LNG and biomass producers who can help fill the need for cleaner energy in Asia,” said Clark. “And now is the right time to do it, because while good trading partners cooperate, the United States has launched this unfair assault against key sectors of our economy and the workers they employ.”