1 Community Climate Action | West Coast Environmental Law

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Community Climate Action

Climate Accountability Letters: An introduction for local governments

Subject(s): 
Carbon Majors, Climate Law in our Hands
Author(s): 
Andrew Gage
Summary: 

Over 50 community groups from around BC - organizations focused on health, faith, human rights and environment - have asked BC's local governments to take action to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for its role in the climate costs being caused by fossil fuel pollution.

In the short term, the 50+ organizations ask municipalities (or regional districts) to send "Climate Accountability Letters" to 20 of the world's largest fossil fuel companies.  These letters demand that the companies pay for climate costs that are being incurred by each community. This brief will answer some questions that local governments may have about why each community should send Climate Accountability Letters.
 

Publication Date: 
February 2017
Publisher: 
West Coast Environmental Law
Year: 
2017
Date Catalogued: 
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Green Waterfront Design Charrette Report

Subject(s): 
Climate adaptation, local governments, sea level rise, coastal communities
Author(s): 
Deborah Carlson, Deborah Harford et. al.
Summary: 

The Green Waterfront Design Charrette brought together design experts and staff from five British Columbia municipalities, including planners, engineers, sustainability specialists, emergency managers and biologists. Working collaboratively, they explored how shifts in land use and building design could support community resilience to sea level rise, focusing on responses that developed green infrastructure and provided opportunities to protect and restore coastal ecosystems, and maintain valuable natural shoreline amenities.

This report provides a thorough overview of the Charrette, including the objectives, expert presentations, as well as ideas and insights to address sea level rise in BC's Lower Mainland.

This report was prepared by West Coast Environmental Law, with assistance from Robert Barrs, MODUS Planning, Design and Engagement, and George Benson.

The charrette was organized by West Coast Environmental Law with assistance from Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT) – SFU, MODUS, graduate students from SCARP-UBC and SFU’s School of Public Policy, and participating municipalities (City of Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, District of West Vancouver and District of Squamish).

Publication Date: 
December 2016
Year: 
2016
Pages: 
104
City: 
Vancouver
Date Catalogued: 
Friday, December 16, 2016

Preparing for climate change: An implementation guide for local governments in British Columbia

Subject(s): 
Climate Adaptation, Local Governments
Author(s): 
Deborah Carlson
Summary: 

Our climate is changing, and we need to plan for a “new normal”. Just a few examples include rising sea levels in coastal areas, more extreme weather events, increased risk of flooding and forest fires, and the possibility of seasonal water shortages.

Local governments have a lead role to play in ensuring our communities will be resilient and sustainable in light of these challenges. Preparing for Climate Change: An Implementation Guide for Local Governments in BC is a resource developed by West Coast Environmental Law that looks at the tools available, and highlights useful experiences and good practices from around the province and elsewhere in Canada.

Some key findings from our work:

  • Local governments already plan for change, and can mainstream climate change adaptation strategies into official community plans, financial and infrastructure planning, emergency response, community development and the protection of the natural environment;
  • Greener communities are often more resilient communities, and measures like green infrastructure and smart planning offer significant benefits from a climate change perspective; and
  • Regional collaboration and cooperation is important to address challenges around capacity—e.g. applying climate models--and being able to respond at the necessary scale to be effective.

 

This publication received a 2013 Gold Award for Excellence in Planning from the Planning Institute of British Columbia. It was a project of the British Columbia Regional Adaptation Initiative, with funding from NRCAN, the BC Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and the Fraser Basin Council.

West Coast Environmental Law also acknowledges the generous support of the following organizations:

Vancity EnviroFund

 

Publication Date: 
October 2012
Year: 
2012
Pages: 
110
Date Catalogued: 
Thursday, March 7, 2013

Energy Forum Climate Leadership Consultation Submission - August 20, 2015

Subject(s): 
BC climate leadership consultation
Author(s): 
Energy Forum
Summary: 

British Columbia has demonstrated to the world that it is possible to drive down carbon pollution while growing the economy. Policies like the carbon tax, clean electricity standard and renewable and low-carbon fuel requirements regulation have helped to drive this change. Unfortunately, British Columbia’s carbon pollution is starting to increase in nearly every sector and is projected to continue increasing without new climate policy, signalling that it’s time to reinvigorate the climate action plan. To this end the Province of British Columbia announced in May 2015 a Climate Leadership Team to provide government with expert advice and recommendations and invited individuals and organizations to provide written submissions about their vision for a new BC climate action plan.

This letter from the Energy Forum, of which West Coast is a member, outlines British Columbia’s success to date on meeting the dual goal of reducing carbon pollution while growing the economy, what a successful climate leadership plan would accomplish and our initial thoughts on the types of government actions that we support to achieve these outcomes.

The Energy Forum is a collaboration of British Columbian power producers, industry associations and non-government organizations that are working together to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the nexus of energy, climate and ecosystems.

Publication Date: 
August 2015
Year: 
2015
Pages: 
5
City: 
Vancouver
Date Catalogued: 
Thursday, August 27, 2015

Andrew Thompson Award 2014 Brochure

Subject(s): 
Andrew Thompson Award 2014 Brochure
Author(s): 
West Coast Environmental Law
Summary: 
The Andrew Thompson award was established in 2002 by West Coast Environmental Law and the Thompson family as a legacy to Dr. Andrew Thompson, and was made possible through the generosity of the Thompson family. The award is given to an individual who has demonstrated a significant lifetime contribution to environmental protection and sustainability in British Columbia through the law.
 
Dr. Andrew Thompson was one of the pioneers in environmental and resource law and one of BC’s foremost environmental lawyers. In acknowledgement that Dr. Thompson’s work bridged the fields of environmental and Aboriginal law and of his contributions to advancing justice for First Nations, the 2014 award recognized individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the fields of environmental and Aboriginal law or to the revitalization, recognition and/or enforcement of Indigenous environmental law.
 
This publication highlights the 2014 award finalists.
Publication Date: 
November 2014
Publisher: 
West Coast Environmental Law Association
Year: 
2014
Pages: 
2

The Eco-Kids Rescue the River

Author(s): 
West Coast Environmental Law Research Foundation; Illustrations by Stacey Muchowski
Summary: 

A colouring book aimed at teaching ecological values to children. Reissued as an online publication in 2005.

Publication Date: 
August 2005
Year: 
2005
Pages: 
20
Full text: 

The Eco-Kids Rescue the River

Subject(s): 
Environment, Comics, Eco-Kids,
Author(s): 
West Coast Environmental Law Research Foundation; Illustrations by Stacey Muchowski
Summary: 

A colouring book aimed at teaching ecological values to children. Reissued as an online publication in 2005.

Publication Date: 
July 1986
Publisher: 
West Coast Environmental Law
Year: 
1986
Pages: 
20
City: 
Vancouver BC
Date Catalogued: 
Tuesday, July 1, 1986

Making the News : A Guide to Using the Media

Subject(s): 
Organizations, Public Interest Groups, Media, Media Officers, Press Relations
Author(s): 
Ura, Michael
Summary: 

Press relations are one of the most important tools at the disposal of community groups today. The news media reaches audiences that are beyond the range of traditional grassroots organizing techniques.

Corporations and government agencies know this and act accordingly. They employ highly-paid professional press relations officers. These are usually well-trained journalists who have been enlisted to `work the other side of the street' because of their knowledge of the business and contacts in it.

Few community groups can afford the services of professional media officers. They must therefore enlist and train their own. Although most groups understand the importance of press relations, they too often assign press liaison tasks to officers who have other duties, which are often perceived as being more important. So long as the development of media work is left at the bottom of the community group's list of priorities, its full public potential will remain unexploited.
This manual is designed as an aid to novice media officers for public interest groups. It is by no means an all-encompassing guide to the field, but it will impart a basic understanding of the tasks associated with the job.

The question of how your group intends to use this guide has been left open. The reasons for, and the nature of the press relations you wish to establish, should be defined by each organization to address its particular set of needs.

Publication Date: 
January 1992
Publisher: 
West Coast Environmental Law
Year: 
1992
Pages: 
44
City: 
Vancouver, BC
Date Catalogued: 
Wednesday, January 1, 1992

Toxic Real Estate in British Columbia: Identification of Issues

Subject(s): 
Land, Land Law, Contaminated Sites, British Columbia, Toxic Contamination, Environmenta Law.
Author(s): 
Braul, Waldemar; Russell, James; Andrews, William
Summary: 

Toxic contamination issues are not a new problem. What is new is the widespread concern about toxic contamination among the general public, in business and in government. This concern reflects society's rapidly expanding environmental awareness, as well as a growing recognition of the potentially enormous financial costs of failing to properly handle our toxic waste.

What gives the toxic contamination issue a special urgency now is that `Who pays?' is so unclear. Unless this uncertainty is resolved by law reform, at both the federal and provincial levels, it will instead be resolved through years of expensive litigation.

This report is intended to identify the key issues, setting the stage for the law reform necessary to deal with toxic contamination. The report should be considered `work in progress'. We are aware that the B.C. government is currently considering specific legislation to address certain aspects of the toxic contamination problem and is awaiting presentation of a consultants' report on the government's options. Also, a lengthy study is in draft form before the Law Reform Commission of Canada and, in due course, the views of the Commission will be known. Neither of these documents has been available to us in the preparation of this report. However, we look forward to participating further in the law reform process as it unfolds.

In addition to law reform, education is the second key purpose of this report. We trust that by introducing readers to this complex area, this report will help people in all aspects of the real estate industry--as well as related professionals, government officials and citizens--to conduct their affairs so as to prevent and, where necessary, to solve potential toxic problems.

Publication Date: 
July 1989
Publisher: 
West Coast Environmental Law
Year: 
1989
Pages: 
48
City: 
Vancouver BC
Date Catalogued: 
Saturday, July 1, 1989

Creating Livable Communities : A Submission to The Minister of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Affairs on Phase I of The Draft Community Charter

Subject(s): 
Sustainable Development, Urban, Municipalities, Recommendations
Author(s): 
Curran, Deborah
Summary: 

The purpose of the Draft Community Charter is to provide more autonomy to, and require accountability from, municipalities. This allows municipalities to craft place-specific solutions that respond to local conditions. While the Draft Community Charter is a positive step in many directions, West Coast Environmental Law has a number of concerns regarding the revocation of municipal powers in the environmental sphere, and a lack of accountability in a number of areas. In summary, West Coast Environmental Law submits the following 19 recommendations to ensure that the Charter better meets the needs of municipalities and the citizens who live, work and play in their communities.

Publication Date: 
December 2002
Publisher: 
West Coast Environmental Law
Year: 
2002
Pages: 
26
City: 
Vancouver BC
Date Catalogued: 
Wednesday, December 4, 2002
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