BC Climate News March 28-April 3: Latest IPCC Report Due Monday | Canada’s new climate plan calls for a 42% reduction in emissions from the oil and gas sector | Scientists say landslide that caused lake tsunami could be linked to melting glaciers


Electric Vehicles Save Drivers Thousands of Dollars Over Life of Vehicle: Report

Purchasing an electric vehicle could save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a vehicle, according to a new report from Clean Energy Canada, a climate and clean energy program of the United States. Simon Fraser University.

The report compares the total costs of ownership of electric vehicles versus their gas-powered counterparts, from purchase to refueling and maintenance.

In any case, electric vehicles are cheaper than the gas alternative, according to the report.

“We looked at all the costs,” said Trevor Melanson, director of communications at Clean Energy Canada, “and in every comparison, the electric car came out cheaper.”

The report compares a number of the most popular car models in Canada, assuming each vehicle has been owned for eight years and driven 20,000 kilometers per year. The report assumes that the cost of gasoline is $1.35 per liter, the average price of a liter of gasoline in Canada in 2021 and well below current fuel prices in British Columbia. Higher gas prices mean bigger savings for electric vehicle owners.

Read the full story here.

—Nathan Griffiths

Landslide on British Columbia’s central coast caused tsunami more than 100 meters high in lake: UNBC study

A landslide in a rural part of British Columbia’s central coast two years ago moved enough water to cause a tsunami more than 100 meters high, according to a study by the University of North America. British Columbia.

On Nov. 28, 2020, the landslide near the West Grenville Glacier in a remote valley caused “catastrophic damage” to land and waterways in Homalco First Nation territory, according to a UNBC news release.

New research by UNBC scientists, in partnership with the Hakai Institute and the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, and published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, has revealed that a rare cascade of events in the southern Coast Range caused a landslide that triggered the tsunami into a glacial lake and then flood.

The report says this caused significant damage to salmon habitat in Elliot Creek and the Southgate River.

Flood waters, organic debris and fine sediment enter a fjord where they produce a plume of sediment more than 60 kilometers long. This changed water temperature, water chemistry and the amount of suspended solids in the water for weeks, the report said, destroying forest and salmon spawning habitat.

The report indicates that this type of high mountain hazard can occur as a result of rapid deglaciation.

“It’s certainly consistent with what we would expect in a changing climate,” said Brian Menouno, a UNBC geography professor and co-author of the study.

Read the full story here.

—Tiffany Crawford

Ambitious report highlights plan for a carbon-neutral Metro Vancouver

Metro Vancouver aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45% below 2010 levels over the next eight years, under an ambitious climate change plan.

This comes even as greenhouse gas emissions in the metropolitan area increased between 2010 and 2020, according to data provided by the regional authority.

“Modeling suggests that with bold actions by all governments and broad adoption by the public and local businesses, emissions in Metro Vancouver can be significantly reduced over the next 30 years,” the report notes, in an apparent nod to the ambitious goals and timetable set out in the plan.

“These potential emission reductions are significant but fall short of the 2030 goal of reducing regional greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 2010 levels,” the report said.

Read the full story here.

—Nathan Griffiths

BC government urged not to spray herbicides for fear they will contaminate native food source

A BC Indigenous woman is pleading with the provincial government not to spray herbicides from Squamish to Hope and is asking for an extension of public consultation.

BC Timber Sales has proposed a five-year pest management plan that would involve aerial and ground spraying of herbicides, including glyphosate, in the Chilliwack Natural Resources District and Sea to Sky, beginning April 1. This area includes Stó:lō, St ‘át’imc Territories, Nlaka’pamux, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh.

But Angelina Hopkins Rose, 28, whose ancestral home is part of the St’át’imc Nation, said there was not enough public consultation with indigenous peoples, who depend on salmon, berries and medicinal plants that could be negatively affected by potentially carcinogenic chemicals.

Glyphosate is controversial but is still approved by Health Canada. However, the popular weed killer is again under scrutiny after the Federal Court of Appeal ruled earlier this year that Health Canada failed to follow its own pesticide and herbicide regulatory rules.

Read the full story here.

—Tiffany Crawford



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