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Responding to Pacific Coast Climate Leadership Action Plan Update

Today, in San Francisco representatives from California, Washington, Oregon, British Columbia signed the already announced Pacific North America Climate Leadership Agreement and Action Plan. The press conference, oozing with self-congratulation and political rhetoric from our Minister of Environment, can be viewed online. Our Minister of Environment’s comments were, in my view, embarrassing. In her remarks the Minister continued to try and take credit for the Campbell administration’s past climate leadership. And the accompanying press release states:

We will build on momentum gained from the Paris agreement by not only continuing to reduce emissions at home, but also by helping other countries transition away from dirty fossil fuels.

For those needing a translation this means “we will continue our desperate attempt to land a hypothetical LNG industry and in so doing ignore the words of more than 90 international scientists who point out that this makes no sense from a greenhouse gas reduction perspective.” Climate policy, of course, gets in the way of the LNG pipedream. And so while California introduces Cap and Trade legislation, BC repeals our legislation. Here’s what climate leadership looks like under Today’s BC Liberals (who are in my humble opinion nothing more than yesterday’s Harper Tories):

  1. The Clean Energy Act was amended to exclude emissions from liquefaction in LNG industry;
  2. The Pacific Carbon Trust shut down;
  3. Carbon tax increase stops;
  4. Cap and Trade enabling legislation (designed to bring big point source emitters in with California) has been repealed;
  5. We have a new Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act that introduces an “emissions intensity” framework straight out of Alberta’s policy;
  6. The LiveSmart BC program has essentially shut down;
  7. Emissions have gone up year after year.

Below is the media statement I released today. The banner above says it all.

Media Statement

Media Statement: June 1st, 2016
Weaver Responds to Pacific Coast Climate Leadership Action Plan Update
For Immediate Release
Victoria B.C. – “The B.C. Liberals are in no position to claim climate leadership. While they reaffirmed their commitment to the PCC action plan today, their inaction over the last three years indicates that they clearly do not take the agreement seriously,” Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay – Gordon Head and Leader of the B.C. Green Party, said of the 2016 Pacific Coast Climate Leadership Action Plan signing in San Francisco.

The Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) is a partnership between California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, who signed a non-binding climate and energy action plan in 2013. Today’s renewed commitment is said to update their previous agreement with increasingly bold goals that reflect the need for decisive climate action.

“At today’s signing Mary Polak suggested that there are not a lot of places to look to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. because we already have the lowest rate in the country – she is false on both accounts. 40% of our household GHG emissions come from transportation, a sector with great emission-reducing potential, and Quebec is the province with the lowest per capita emissions in Canada.”

“These are the same talking points we heard in 2013. As other provinces are stepping up and getting more ambitious, the B.C. Liberals seems content to coast as we fall behind. On top of that, if the LNG sector expanded the way the government has promised our GHG emissions would skyrocket and there is no guarantee it would result in reductions anywhere else.”

“Addressing climate changes requires direct action, not more promises and photo ops.”


Media Contact
Mat Wright
Press Secretary
Email: Mat.wright@leg.bc.ca
Cell: 250 216 3382

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