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Climate change is a global issue, requiring action from everyone—individuals, governments, environmental organizations, researchers, and industries around the world.

The BC Energy Regulator is working with B.C.’s energy industry to reduce emissions as an effective way to address climate change.

What are methane emissions?

Methane is a greenhouse gas which comes from a number of different sources, some natural and some human-caused. In the energy industry, leaks of methane, called fugitive emissions, can come from valves, pump seals and other equipment used in natural gas development. Methane is also released when natural gas is flared or vented.

What is the BCER doing to help reduce methane emissions?

The BCER is taking action by requiring industry to reduce methane emissions by 45 per cent by 2025, relative to 2014 levels. This is consistent with the targets set by the B.C. and federal governments.

These regulations came into effect on Jan. 1, 2020 and are designed to reduce methane emissions by 10.9 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over a 10-year period, which is like taking 390,000 cars off the road each year.

Developed with input from environmental groups and industry, the regulations address the primary sources of methane emissions from B.C.’s upstream oil and gas industry, which are:

  • Pneumatic devices
  • Equipment leaks
  • Compressor seals
  • Glycol dehydrators
  • Storage tanks
  • Surface casing vents

We are also taking action by using new techniques and technologies to identify where the emissions are coming from, improving industry practices, increasing field inspections and strengthening reporting requirements.

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What else are we doing to address climate change?

Water Sustainability

The Water Sustainability Act came into effect in 2016 to manage and protect B.C.’s supply of clean, fresh water.

Our water sustainability specialists are using new tools to track water use and measure supply across the province. This information provides real-time data, which helps inform the plans or decisions we make, including the allocation of water use permits and authorizations for energy companies.

Clean BC

We are working with the B.C. government to balance the development of natural gas with climate objectives through the CleanBC plan. The plan includes increasing energy efficiency, reducing waste, protecting water sustainability, and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

CleanBC goes beyond the energy industry and is a broad approach supporting all British Columbians to conserve energy at home, on the road through more affordable electric vehicles, and at landfills through diverting waste.

We are also doing our part as a Crown corporation and employer in B.C. by:

  • Reducing vehicle emissions & introducing electric vehicles within our fleet
  • Making offices more energy efficient
  • Reducing water consumption
  • Reducing waste
  • Being carbon neutral
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Our staff regulate energy resource development and are also residents of B.C. Our focus is on protecting public safety, safeguarding the environment and respecting the individuals and communities affected by oil and gas activities.

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