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Report on 'Finding Practical Solutions to Climate Change'

Tom Hackney
Sunday, June 5, 2016

Change is in the air, if you go by the mood at town hall meeting, hosted by M.P. Randall Garrison in Esquimalt High theatre on May 27th.

Two hundred and fifty people filled the theatre to hear and talk about how Canada can deliver its share of the greenhouse gas emission cuts needed to keep global warming below 2 degrees – preferably below 1.5 degrees – Celsius.

That goal was set last December in Paris, when 165 of the world’s nations, including Canada, agreed to limit climate change and to put in place practical plans to do so. It was a proud moment for Canada, with a new prime minister pointedly setting a new, cooperative tone on the international stage.

Now the work begins. In March, Prime Minister Trudeau convened the premiers and territorial leaders and got their agreement to cooperate on a climate action plan. The premiers and territorial leaders with reconvene in the fall to agree on detail. Meanwhile, M.P.s have been asked to host town hall meetings in their ridings to get the views of their voters.

As BCSEA Policy Director, I was asked to speak about “quick, practical solutions.” I sketched out a plan for a renewable energy revolution and getting off fossil fuels by 2050.

Will Horter of the Dogwood Initiative outlined the huge commitments to carbon pollution that built into energy export proposals in BC, including the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan tar sands pipelines and BC’s liquefied natural gas export projects.

The audience was ready for it, and then some.

No one called my radical plan unrealistic. Some said it was too slow. No one challenged that we need the jobs that go with the fossil fuel export projects. A hundred people signed BCSEA Victoria Chapter’s petition calling on municipalities to adopt a 100% renewable energy goal. The voters of Esquimalt have given their M.P. a good, clear message to carry back to Ottawa.


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