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Your Turn to Speak up on Climate Change – Third Time Lucky

Tom Hackney
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Last August, we urgently appealed to you, our members, to show the government your support for effective action on climate change. The B.C. government had called for public comments on what should be in an updated B.C. Climate Leadership Plan (“CLP”), and the upcoming UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris (“COP 21”) created the expectation (since confirmed) of a growing global consensus that all the world needs to act urgently to minimize harmful climate change.


Then in December, we appealed to you again. The government had sought advice from a Climate Leadership Team made up of business, academic, municipal government and environmental leaders, and this team had published 32 recommendations for a strong climate action plan. BCSEA endorsed the recommendations and urged our members to do so, too.


Now, once again, we urge you to speak up. The government has circulated a Consultation Guide for Building B.C.’s Climate Leadership Plan, asking for public comments until March 25th.


Never mind that the Consultation Guide gives little new information or indication of the government’s thinking (if you want to read something, read the Climate Leadership Team’s report instead). Never mind that no town hall meetings are scheduled to discuss options. The government is asking for “your thoughts on the most important actions we can take to lower greenhouse gas emissions and take advantage of the low carbon economy of the future.”


Here’s how:


Start here, and send the government your thoughts, online, by email or by mail.

Not sure what to say? A good response would be to call on the government to accept the Climate Leadership Team’s Recommendations to Government of 31 October 2015.


Alternatively, take your pick from BCSEA’s priority list:

  • The B.C. government should re-establish a high political priority on climate action. B.C. must live up to its international reputation for leadership and innovation on climate change.
  • The B.C. government must urgently publish a detailed, practical plan for B.C. to meet its legislated greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets. All sectors of society are ready and willing to contribute, but government leadership is essential. The plan must include ALL sources of GHG emissions, with annual reporting to confirm our progress toward meeting the targets. B.C. must meet the GHG targets; that is our fair share of the global burden.
  • The GHG reductions should be real GHG reductions, not just paper reductions. GHG offset mechanisms are not effective in actually reducing emissions, and they can be manipulated too easily.
  • The B.C. government should switch its economic development priorities and spending to the promotion of renewable energy, rather than fossil fuels. Subsidies to fossil fuels should be stopped. The fossil fuel industry must not be given any protection against future laws or taxes that restrict fossil fuel production or use.
  • B.C.’s carbon tax is a major success and should be strengthened. The amount of the tax should be increased by $10 per tonne of carbon per year for at least the next five years, so that it provides an increasing price signal to cut carbon pollution. The carbon tax should be broadened to include all sources of GHG emissions, including methane and GHG emissions from industrial processes. The government must eliminate special exemptions.


Over to you.