BC sets new carbon-reduction targets for fuel

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by Emily Atkins

British Columbia is increasing the 2030 carbon-intensity reduction target for the diesel and gasoline fuel pools from 20 percent to 30 percent under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).

The LCFS was implemented in 2010, requiring fuel suppliers to progressively lower the average carbon intensity of the fuels they supply in British Columbia by 10 percent by 2020. In 2020, the Province extended the LCFS and increased the carbon-intensity reduction requirement to 20 percent by 2030.

Amendments to the Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation will now require fuel suppliers to reduce the carbon intensity of diesel and gasoline fuel pools supplied in B.C. to reach an overall reduction of 30 percent by 2030, relative to 2010 levels.

Under the LCFS, carbon intensity is measured using a fuel life cycle basis, taking into account all stages of a fuel product’s life from raw material to final consumption – for example, growing crops for biofuels, manufacturing, transport and end-use of the fuel.

Low carbon fuels are created by blending fuels from renewable sources, such as vegetable oils, waste cooking oil and biofuel crops, as well as forest and municipal organic waste. From 2010 to 2021, actions taken to comply with the LCFS have resulted in a reduction of more than 15.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

The LCFS is important as it targets the transportation sector, which contributed 36 percent of British Columbia’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. The LCFS is the largest contributor to CleanBC emission-reduction goals.

A further amendment to the regulation will increase the penalty rate for non-compliance with the carbon-intensity requirements from $200 per tonne to $600 per tonne.

The amendments will provide certainty over the long term to fuel suppliers and encourage continued investment in low-carbon fuels supporting the CleanBC Roadmap objective to develop production capacity for 1.3 billion litres of made-in-B.C. renewable fuels per year by 2030.