Ecojustice Blog – Climate change Posted on September 25, 2019 (updated: October 1, 2019)

Cross-Country Check-in: British Columbia is faltering on climate action

Devon PageLawyer
British Columbia premier John Horgan speaking
Photo by Province of British Columbia via Flickr

In the final edition of Cross-Country Check-In, we look at how Ecojustice is challenging the B.C. government to take urgent climate action.

British Columbia has deep green roots. It also has some of the weakest environmental standards in Canada. From defending endangered wildlife to protecting old-growth forests from logging to taking climate action — B.C.’s laws need to catch up.

We’re counting on the support of people like you to hold Premier John Horgan’s government to account for doing just that.

British Columbia was heralded as a climate champion in 2008, when it became the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce a comprehensive, revenue-neutral carbon price. Today, that halo is looking a little tarnished — thanks in large part to the LNG-sized hole in the B.C. government’s climate strategy.

Premier Horgan’s government is expected to table a climate accountability law — the first of its kind in Canada — next month. That means we have just a few weeks to convince the government to increase its ambition levels.

It’s worth noting that this proposed law will come on the heels of a sobering new report that shows the province’s carbon emissions rose by 1.7 per cent in 2017.

While a 1.7 per cent rise might sound insignificant, that figure must be seen in the context of what the climate science tells us: we need to drastically cut emissions — and fast.

These latest emissions figures, and B.C.’s poor track record on meeting its climate targets, underscore why we need an effective climate law that empowers British Columbians to hold politicians to account.

It’s time for B.C. to get on track — and to close the wide gap between its rhetoric and reality.

To learn more about B.C.’s carbon emissions and the three key elements that we’ll be looking for in the new climate accountability bill, read this opinion piece, originally published in The Province, by Ecojustice climate director Alan Andrews.

Photo of Premier Horgan by Province of British Columbia via Flickr | CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

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