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(TORONTO, Canada, June 2, 2014) – British Columbia is the greenest province in Canada, according to the 2014 Green Provinces Report Card from Corporate Knights, the magazine for clean capitalism.
Canada’s western-most province has consistently scored high in past reports, ranking second place behind Ontario when Corporate Knights released in 2012 provincial scorecard.
Internationally, B.C. is perhaps best known for being the first in North America to tax carbon emissions. Since then, the province has shown the world that it’s possible to put a meaningful price on greenhouse-gas pollution without sacrifice to economic growth.
“It’s fitting that British Columbia’s Latin motto, when translated to English, means ‘splendour without diminishment.’ A province of mountains, ocean and ancient forests, B.C. has plenty of splendour and has done a comparatively good job of protecting it,” said Tyler Hamilton, associate publisher of Corporate Knights.
B.C. achieved a high score across most of the 10 key environmental performance indicators used in this year’s report card. It has the highest percentage of protected land in Canada, and British Columbians drive the fewest kilometres per capita than other Canadians – indeed, 38 per cent less than Alberta which registered the most kilometres per capita.
The province also has the highest density of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the country relative to population. It also proved one of the most efficient users of energy, and by association, was shown to emit a relatively low amount of pollutants – CO2, particulates, sulphur oxides, and nitrogen oxides – per unit of GDP.
Prince Edward Island achieved the second-highest score in the report, followed by Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. Saskatchewan scored lowest. Territories were not included in the scorecard because of poor data disclosure across a number of indicators.
Hamilton applauded B.C. for its top score, but said the province shouldn’t rest on its laurels. “The carbon tax seems here to stay, but there appears little political will to raise it or extend its reach, such as to methane leaks from the gas sector,” Hamilton said.
“That the province wants to become a natural gas powerhouse, and as part of that, build several liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities by the end of the decade is concerning. Under such a scenario, and with a stalled carbon tax regime, it’s difficult to see B.C. keeping its status as Canada’s greenest province.”
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