bc-090909-pacha-pg-air

B.C.'s greenhouse gas emissions keep going up, despite the carbon tax introduced in 2008, according to figures obtained by CBC News. ((pachapg.ca))

New figures obtained by CBC News show annual greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. have continued to increase, edging up nearly one per cent in 2008.

The Environment Canada numbers from 2008 are the most recent available for emission totals from all sources. That was also the year that the provincial government introduced a carbon tax on fuels in a bid to cut emissions.

The data show an increase of 0.9 per cent.

The emission figures demonstrate how much of a challenge the province faces in trying to cut greenhouse gases, said B.C. Environment Minister Barry Penner.

"Nobody said it would happen overnight," Penner told CBC News Thursday. "The [2008] numbers that we're now talking about [are from] the first year that the carbon tax was introduced."

The province's carbon tax jumps to 4.82 cents per litre of gasoline on July 1. Different rates of the tax are also paid by volume on all other types of fuel used for transportation and heating.

Greenhouse gas emissions were down nationally and were down in most other provinces, too.

But B.C. has bucked the countrywide trend before.

In December 2009, federal figures that reflected only industrial emissions showed that B.C. was the sole province that had year over year increases.

Penner said those results were due to the increase in oil and gas activity in B.C. and the fact the province had fared better than some others during the economic downturn.

B.C. has set a target for the year 2020 of generating at least 33 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the province did in 2007.

With files from the CBC's Jeff Davies