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Environmental lawyers: BC’s climate plan fails to meet commitments

Thursday, August 18, 2016


VANCOUVER – Vancouver-based West Coast Environmental Law Association condemned BC’s Climate Leadership Plan, released today by the BC Government, for failing to provide a road-map to meet the province’s climate commitments. The plan – which failed to implement key recommendations of BC’s blue-ribbon Climate Leadership Team – will get BC just halfway towards its legislated targets to reduce fossil fuel pollution.

“It’s almost 10 years since BC passed the Greenhouse Gas Reductions Targets Act, promising to reduce our collective greenhouse gas emissions by 33% by 2020 and by 80% by 2050,” noted Andrew Gage, head of West Coast’s climate program. “That looked like climate leadership, but we’re going to miss the 2020 target and this plan will make it all but impossible to achieve the 2050 target.”

The new plan rejects BC’s own experts’ recommendations to increase and expand the province’s carbon tax, and no new measures are proposed to replace the emissions reductions associated with these important recommendations. As a result, there is a huge gap in the province’s plan. While parts of the plan are positive, such as investments in transit and transportation infrastructure, and new energy efficiency standards for industry, the plan would also expand LNG and highway infrastructure – taking BC in the wrong direction.

“Real climate leadership does not involve setting aggressive targets and then failing to do the work to achieve them. In Paris, Canada pledged to work harder to keep global warming under control, but you wouldn’t know it from BC’s plan,” said Gage.

“Like a financial budget, a carbon plan needs to show how we’ll deal with our fossil fuel debt and achieve our targets. There are some good pieces in the plan – but as a whole the plan uses sleight of hand to hide our fossil fuel pollution debt and will ensure that we miss our targets.  It’s a fudge-it carbon budget,” he said.

The West Coast Environmental Law Association advocates for strong laws to protect nature and communities and provides legal servicesto individuals and organizations who have concerns regarding the environment. Last December, in Paris, West Coast released a report – A Carbon Budget for Canada– calling on BC and Canada to adopt a science-based approach to managing greenhouse gases.


For more information, please contact:

Andrew Gage | Staff Counsel, West Coast Environmental Law

604-601-2506 (Vancouver) or 250-412-9784 (Victoria)

Click here for a pdf version of this release.