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B.C. under-reporting greenhouse gas emissions: Sierra Club

Douglas Channel, the proposed termination point for an oil pipeline in the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, is pictured in an aerial view in Kitimat, B.C., on Jan. 10, 2012.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

The Sierra Club says B.C. is vastly under-reporting is greenhouse gas emissions by not counting pollution from forest and fossil fuel exports, but the province's environment minister says it doesn't need to report emissions it can't control and the club is playing politics with the issue.

In a report released Thursday, the Sierra Club says the province's greenhouse gas emissions would quadruple when exported products are added in.

The organization says the B.C. government has reported that the province's 2010 emissions dropped by 4.5 per cent to 62 million tonnes, but the province's annual emissions are actually more than 250 million tonnes when pollution from forests and fossil fuel exports are included.

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The report says proposals for the Northern Gateway oil pipeline and new natural gas terminals and coal mines would add another 400 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year.

But Environment Minister Terry Lake is rejecting the findings of the report, saying the Sierra Club knows international agreements don't require the province to report emissions that are beyond its control, including those associated with exported products.

Mr. Lake says the Club is led by George Heyman, who plans to run for the NDP in the next provincial election, and he says managing climate change should not be made into a political football.

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