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Climate Action Team On Target, But Will BC Government Miss the Mark?

  • Published on Aug 11 2008 |
  • This article is tagged as: bc

CPAWS reacts with others to the release of the Climate Action Team recommendations to the Premier of British Colubmia.  The Team recommends a separate process for developing recommendations for how the forest sector can contribute to BC\'s greenhouse gas emission reduction target.

Vancouver – BC environmental groups are applauding the latest recommendations from the province\'s Climate Action Team, a blue ribbon panel created by Premier Campbell to provide, “the most credible, aggressive and economically viable targets,” for the province\'s fight against Climate Change. 
 
The groups are urging the government to adopt the team’s recommendations, which would create some of North America’s most progressive climate standards for the building and airline sectors, including a carbon pricing system for major emitters. The groups say the strength of the recommendations show that the government-appointed panel means business. 
 
“We applaud the Climate Action Team for successfully building cross-sectoral consensus on the province\'s approach to fighting climate change,” said Merran Smith of ForestEthics.  “These recommendations are some of the key first steps in the fight against climate change, and we encourage the BC government to adopt and fully implement all thirty-one of these recommendations.”
 
Building on the action team\'s recommendations, the groups would like to see government leadership  in moving away from policies that contradict efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

  • Move away from policy that promotes development of carbon-intensive fuel sources such as coal bed methane and oil shale. 
  • Establish carbon pricing system for major emitters by the next fiscal year, don\'t wait until 2012.
  • Create a process to determine forest and climate recommendations that includes environmental groups and First Nations and that recognizes forest conservation as an important part of climate strategy with full cost accounting of burning forests as a fuel source. 
  • Major investments in public infrastructure and transportation aimed at lowering the costs of low-carbon lifestyles for all citizens, and a more just and equitable climate-friendly society. 

“When it comes to forests and climate change, these recommendations open the door to the same kind of leadership recently demonstrated in Ontario, where Premier McGuinty committed to protecting 225,000 square kilometers of carbon-rich boreal forests,” said Chris Henschel, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.  “We want BC to put similar emphasis on conservation-based policies.”  
 
“Climate scientists are increasingly calling for dramatic action,” said Will Horter, Executive Director of the Dogwood Initiative. “Mandating zero-emissions in new buildings is a major step, but reigning in rapidly expanding oil, gas and coal development and getting our approach right on forests is necessary to become a global climate leader.”

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Contact: 
Merran Smith, ForestEthics, (604) 816-5636 
Will Horter, Dogwood Initiative, (250) 418-1672
Andrea Reimer, Wilderness Committee, (604) 719-3920
Chris Henschel, CPAWS, (613) 569-7226 ext. 220