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Global Warming Solutions

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

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

Re: Climate Leadership Report Consultations

Subject(s): 
BC Climate Leadership Team
Author(s): 
Andrew Gage, Deborah Carlson
Summary: 

West Coast Environmental Law's submissions to the BC Ministry of Environment in response to the province's Climate Leadership Team report and the Ministry's public consultation. 

Publication Date: 
March 2016
Year: 
2016
Pages: 
3
City: 
Vancouver
Date Catalogued: 
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau re: Commitment to introduce legislated ban on oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s north coast

Subject(s): 
North coast tanker ban
Author(s): 
open letter
Summary: 

An open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed by

BC-Yukon KAIROS
BC Nature
Dogwood Initiative
Douglas Channel Watch
Eye of the Storm
ForestEthics Advocacy
Fort St. James Sustainability Group
Friends of Morice Bulkley
Friends of Wild Salmon
Greenpeace Canada
Haida Gwaii CoASt
Living Oceans Society
My Sea to Sky
North West Watch
Pacific Wild
Prince George Public Interest Research Group
Prince Rupert Environment Society
RAVEN
Sea to Sands Conservation Alliance
Sierra Club BC
Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition
T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation
The Steelhead Society of British Columbia, Northern Branch
UFAWU - Unifor United Fishermen and Allied Workers' Union
United Church of Canada
Watershed Watch Salmon Society
West Coast Environmental Law Association
Wilderness Tourism Association of BC
Publication Date: 
November 2015
Year: 
2015
Pages: 
1
Date Catalogued: 
Friday, November 13, 2015

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

ENGO and WCEL Submissions to BC Carbon Tax Review

Subject(s): 
BC Carbon Tax
Author(s): 
Gage, Andrew et. al.
Summary: 

This publication is comprised of two separate documents relating to the 2012 BC Carbon Tax review.

The first document is the Joint Submission to the B.C. Ministry of Finance's Carbon Tax Review, submitted on behalf of 11 environmental and labour organizations in British Columbia.  West Coast Environmental Law signed on to, but did not draft, this document. 

West Coast Environmental Law also provided additional submission, expanding upon the Joint Submission, written by Andrew Gage.

Publication Date: 
August 2012
Publisher: 
West Coast Environmental Law
Year: 
2012
Pages: 
11
City: 
Vancouver
Date Catalogued: 
Friday, August 31, 2012

Environmentalists' Perspective on Emission Trading Programs- Speaking Notes

Subject(s): 
Air, Economics, Emissions Trading
Author(s): 
Rolfe, Chris
Summary: 

ENGOs perspectives on emissions trading are increasingly dependent on the details of individual emissions trading programs and judgments of whether a program's particular environmental pros and cons outweigh the pros and cons of "command and control" alternatives. On the "pro" side of the emissions trading ledger, trading may help reduce costs of achieving a particular goal. This may, in turn, make more stringent environmental pollution goals more politically achievable, or may allow agencies to shift their attention to other problems. On the "con" side of the emissions trading ledger, there are many aspects of trading programs that need to be assessed. In particular, environmentalists are likely to pay particular attention to the following:

• the monitoring and enforcement regime under a trading program must be sufficiently strong to withstand new opportunities and incentives for non-compliance created by a trading program;
• a trading program must be accompanied by regulatory and planning changes which will help to ensure the correction of "market failures";
• the political difficulties in developing an emission allowance trading program, in particular, the politically sensitive issue of allowance allocation, may lead to a situation where real emission reductions are delayed;
• poorly designed trading programs may not safeguard environmentally sensitive areas or particular communities.

Publication Date: 
June 1997
Publisher: 
West Coast Environmental Law
Year: 
1997
Pages: 
5
City: 
Vancouver BC
Date Catalogued: 
Friday, June 6, 1997

Environmentalists' Perspective on U.S. Proposal for an International Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Program

Subject(s): 
Air, Economics, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Environmentalists
Author(s): 
Rolfe, Chris
Summary: 

I was asked to provide environmentalists' perspective on U.S. proposals for greenhouse gas emission trading between nations. To begin with it should be pointed out that there is no single defined position of environmentalists, but instead a range of opinions. In the U.S., the Environmental Defence Fund has wholeheartedly supported the U.S. proposal; other organizations have been equally adamantly opposed. Environmentalists' divided attitude toward joint implementation and international greenhouse gas trading reflect different assessments of a myriad of concerns. Some of the concerns go to the very core of trading; others are dependent on design of a program.

The US proposal for greenhouse gas emissions trading has two aspects:

1. trading of allowable emissions, or allocations, among countries with binding emission reduction commitments (international allocation trading);and

2. countries subject to binding commitments meeting such commitments by supporting or undertaking emission reductions projects in countries not subject to binding emission reduction commitments (joint implementation).

Although the US proposal is couced in terms of trading between national governments, the ability to participate in trading is likely to devolve to the private sector. Despite the difficulty of making generalizations, environmentalists generally have less concern regarding a program involving international allocation trading and greater concerns regarding joint implementation. Support for either form of international emissions trading is greater if it is in the context of more significant emission reduction commitments.
 

Publication Date: 
June 1997
Publisher: 
West Coast Environmental Law
Year: 
1997
Pages: 
5
City: 
Vancouver BC
Date Catalogued: 
Friday, June 6, 1997

Turning down the heat : Emissions trading and Canadian implementation of the Kyoto Protocol

Subject(s): 
Air, Economics, Green House Gas, Emissions, Canada,
Author(s): 
Rolfe, Chris
Summary: 

Turning Down the Heat is intended to assist in the search for ways to reduce Canadian greenhouse gas emissions. It examines the potential role for emissions trading in implementation of Canada’s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.

Under trading programs, individual polluters are given flexibility in how to reduce their emissions. Where an emitter can, at a low or negative cost, reduce emissions or energy use beyond what is required by regulation they can sell an emission reduction credit or an allowance to a polluter who cannot reduce their emissions as easily. The purchaser of the credit or allowance is then allowed to emit more. The theory of emissions trading assumes that by placing increased choice of control measures in the hands of emitters, emissions will be reduced at the lowest cost.

Emissions trading has often been promoted as a panacea, an alternative to regulation, and a new way to reduce emissions that will be politically easy and achieve emission reductions at the lowest cost.

Turning Down the Heat finds that, while there is potentially a large role for emission trading, it is none of the above. It is one tool — albeit a potentially important one — among many to reduce green- house gases.

Turning Down the Heat will be of interest to anyone concerned with climate change and how greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced.

Publication Date: 
May 1998
Publisher: 
West Coast Environmental Law
Year: 
1998
Pages: 
433
City: 
Vancouver BC
Date Catalogued: 
Monday, May 4, 1998
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