Carbon Pricing and Competitiveness Pressures in British Columbia

Figure 1a: Carbon Pricing Competitiveness Pressures by Sector in British Columbia

Highlights in British Columbia

  • The cement sector appears to be one of the most exposed to competitiveness pressures, with particularly emissions-intensive production. Note that much of the GHG emissions produced in cement manufacturing come from “process emissions”—those produced during the chemical processes involved in cement production—rather than from the combustion of fossil fuels. Such process emissions are not currently covered by the province’s carbon tax.
  • Refining is the other particularly emissions-intensive sector in B.C., though it is quite small, contributing less than 0.1% of provincial GDP and less than 1% of provincial GHG emissions.
  • The natural gas sector is also exposed to competitiveness pressures, and makes up about 2% of provincial GDP. Yet the sector is only one-fifth as emissions intensive as the cement sector on average. Though not shown in the figure, emissions intensity varies substantially across different natural gas projects, from conventional fields to shale and tight gas plays.
  • Finally, liquid natural gas (LNG) facilities are not included in the analysis, as no projects are currently completed. Should the sector grow, however, it would likely be quite exposed to competitiveness pressures. Interactions with B.C.’s evolving tax treatment of LNG facilities would also play an important role in determining the sector’s overall competitiveness.