British Columbians are taking action on climate change

People in every corner of the province are taking real action to fight climate change. And many B.C. companies are already leading the way on new technologies and solutions that will help tackle the problem here at home and elsewhere in the world.

Read more about how people just like you are helping build a stronger BC for everyone.

B.C.’s hydrogen sector is fueling green jobs

B.C.’s thriving hydrogen and fuel cell sector is the largest in the country, making it a critical part of our low-carbon economy. cellcentric, a new joint venture between the world’s two largest truck manufacturers, Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group, has chosen to strengthen its innovative hydrogen fuel cell business in Burnaby because of B.C.’s world-leading experience and knowledge. cellcentric plans to develop and produce hydrogen fuel cell systems to commercialize CO2-neutral transportation and will significantly grow its local workforce in highly specialized, well-paid positions in the years to come. Along with providing solutions to reduce emissions in hard-to-decarbonize areas such as heavy-duty trucking, the sector is creating good jobs for people and attracting new investment. For example, Ballard Power, headquartered in Burnaby, develops and manufactures hydrogen fuel cell products and has grown its workforce from 363 in 2016 to more than 900. Most of these are highly skilled engineering, scientist, and advanced manufacturing positions. B.C. also became the first province in Canada to release a comprehensive hydrogen strategy earlier this year.

Electric ferries are the wave of the future

BC Ferries is partnering with Corvus Energy to expand its fleet of hybrid-electric vessels, further reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. Two Island Class ferries, designed to be fully electric in the future, went into service in mid-2020. Four more will be deployed in 2022.

By 2036, BC Ferries plans to have 12 to 14 Island Class vessels in service – accounting for a third of their fleet. They’re currently working with BC Hydro and are seeking federal funding to install the necessary shore charging infrastructure to transition the vessels from hybrid-diesel-electric to full battery-electric operations.

Corvus started with two partners in a Richmond garage in 2009. Today, it’s the world’s leading supplier of innovative, safe, reliable energy storage solutions for the maritime industry.

From waste to clean energy: B.C. companies are making the fuels of the future

B.C. is ramping up production of renewable fuels to reduce emissions and attract new investment that will make cleaner options more available for people and businesses. In fact, we expect to exceed our 2030 target five years early and have set a new target of 1.3 billion litres per year – double our original goal. Our progress is due, in part, to investments by companies like Arbios Biotech, which is building a new biomass-to-biofuels plant near Prince George. At full build-out, the plant will use end-of-life wood waste biomass to produce up to 32 million litres of renewable fuels each year. The project is supported through B.C.’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

Micro-hydropower provides clean energy and jobs for Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation

The Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation is partnering with B.C. and Canada through the CleanBC Communities Fund to upgrade its micro-hydropower plant. The Nation, in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, is isolated from the BC Hydro electricity grid and has produced its own renewable energy for 40 years. Upgrades to the aging plant will ensure a reliable supply of clean energy, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and support opportunities for jobs and growth, including the construction of more homes in the area.

Photo courtesy of B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Hartley Bay heats up (and cools down) with energy saving heat pumps

100% of the people in Hartley Bay, a Gitga’at community on the north coast, now have energy efficient heat pumps in their homes – keeping them cool in the summer and warm in the winter, all while lowering their heating bills and shrinking the community’s carbon footprint. Heat pumps also provide air filtration, reducing risks from wildfire smoke during summer months.

The switch to heat pumps was supported by the CleanBC Indigenous Community Heat Pump Incentive, which helps make clean choices for residential and community buildings affordable and accessible.

Delivery trucks are getting cleaner – and bikes are sharing the load

Thanks to the CleanBC, deliveries in B.C. are also getting cleaner. The CleanBC Go Electric Specialty Use Vehicle Incentive program helps businesses buy electric delivery trucks, passenger shuttles and many other vehicles. Through the program, Purolator has added a small fleet of battery-electric delivery trucks at its facility in Richmond and also operates a number of electric cargo bikes (e-cargo bikes).

In Vancouver, the City and the Province are testing a new e-cargo bike micro-hub, where packages are transferred from delivery trucks and stored until an e-cargo bike can pick them up for delivery. The pilot project will be evaluated to see how well it works and how much pollution it has reduced. A similar program in Montreal has shown positive results reducing auto traffic and pollution.

Electric fleet reduces costs and improves productivity at B.C. mine

Encouraging the switch from fossil fuels to clean electricity is a key part of our ongoing efforts to make B.C.’s industries the cleanest in the world. Pretivm’s Brucejack gold mine in B.C.’s North is swapping its diesel-powered heavy-duty underground haul trucks for a fleet of zero-emission electric vehicles – supported by the CleanBC Industry Fund. The cleaner trucks deliver significant environmental and health benefits through a cleaner, quieter and healthier workplace. The trucks run underground and, because they don’t make any exhaust, air quality is better for people working at the mine. It also reduces ventilation costs, which has been a major expense in the past.

Circular economy in action – B.C is keeping plastics in use and out of the environment

As part of our commitment to a circular economy, the Province is reducing plastic waste by phasing out problematic single-use plastics, expanding the types of plastics collected for recycling, as well as the amount, and much more. We’re also protecting our pristine marine environment by working with Indigenous peoples, coastal communities, local tourism operators and environmental groups through the Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative. The project is the largest shoreline clean-up in B.C. history. Through the Plastics Action Fund, B.C. is helping businesses process and remanufacture more recycled plastics, with over 20,000 tonnes of plastic annually that will be recirculated back into the new products because of this program.

Photo by Simon Ager | The crews of the Small Ship Tour Operators Association of BC

The cleanest cement plant in Canada might be right here in B.C.

Through CleanBC, we’re working with the cement industry to reduce emissions and support new B.C.-based clean tech. Lafarge Canada’s Richmond plant has partnered with B.C. clean tech company Svante to pilot a new carbon capture technology with support from the Province. The Richmond plant also implemented an alternate fuel project with CleanBC support to switch from fossil fuels to biosolids. Lafarge is now on track to substitute over 50% of fossil fuel use with cleaner alternatives, making it one of the cleanest cement plants anywhere in Canada.

Negative emission technology is breathing fresh air into emissions reductions

B.C. companies like Carbon Engineering are pioneering and testing negative emissions technologies that can directly remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it underground. Likewise, researchers led by Ocean Networks Canada and funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions are working on a project to permanently and safely sequester carbon dioxide by turning into rock below the ocean floor thanks to some innovative science and chemical reactions. This approach is still in its early stages, but shows significant promise. Together with other partners, B.C. will launch a new Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy to continue its support for innovation like clean hydrogen and negative emissions technology.

Photo courtesy of Carbon Engineering Ltd.