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My statement on BC NDP climate action plan and BC Liberal response

Statement on BC NDP climate action plan & B.C. Liberal response
February 2nd, 2017
For immediate release

Vancouver, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, has released the following statement on the B.C. NDP climate action plan and the B.C. Liberal response. Weaver is in Vancouver today and available for interviews from 2:45 to 6:00pm.

“What we just saw today is the reason why I got into politics. Climate change is one of the biggest economic and social issues facing our province, and we need politicians from all parties working towards real solutions.

“Yet sadly we see the Liberals leaking a memo to try to undermine climate action and the NDP releasing a plan that is more of a communications exercise than substantive policy.

“Neither party are asking: What do we really need to do to address climate change and how do we get it done? The BC Liberals have largely abandoned their climate leadership under Christy Clark, while the NDP are only committing to do the bare minimum that is required by the federal government.

“Let’s be honest. The NDP plan is not a Made in BC solution. Their plan is based around federal measures that were designed to achieve targets that were set by Stephen Harper.  I have worked in this field for 25 years. Their plan will not reduce carbon emissions if they also intend to support the LNG industry. The two simply do not go hand-in-hand.

“British Columbians can count on the BC Green Party to put forward an evidence based policy that will build on our unique strengths as a province, grow our economy and tackle climate change.”

– 30 –

Media contact
Mat Wright, Press Secretary
+1 250-216-3382 | mat.wright@leg.bc.ca

Statement on Premier Clark’s obstructionist approach to Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth & Climate Change

For Immediate Release
December 9th, 2016
Weaver’s Statement on Premier Clark’s obstructionist approach to Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change

VICTORIA B.C. – “Following reports that the Arctic sea ice extent has hit a new record November low, Premier Christy Clark actively obstructed National efforts to address climate change,” says Andrew Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party. “The challenges are too big, the consequences are too profound, and the opportunities are too significant for British Columbia to continue to be a barrier in the formulation of a national climate plan. Premier Clark is risking Canada’s national climate plan so she can turn it into a populist election issue in BC.”

Joining her two Conservative counterparts in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Premier Clark blindsided the federal government today with her attempts to derail the development of a national climate plan. While begrudgingly agreeing to sign on late in the day, Premier Clark once more missed an opportunity to demonstrate leadership on this file.

“We need a diversified, sustainable 21st century economy–one that will serve today’s generation without burdening generations to come. And being a leader in that transition is where the economic opportunities lie. As it currently stands British Columbia is still recklessly chasing the LNG pipedream while literally paying corporations to take natural gas out of the ground. This approach does not serve today’s British Columbians well, and it is sabotaging opportunities for the next generation.”

“Windfalls will be enjoyed by those who move first with vision, not latecomers to a developed market. We should be identifying and seizing B.C.’s competitive advantages – our access to cheap, renewable energy, our educated workforce, our innovative business community, and the quality of life we can offer here.”

“A B.C. Green government would embrace a national climate strategy, increase the carbon levy and bring back in the Cap and Trade enabling legislation that was repealed by the Clark government.”

– 30 –

Media contact

Mat Wright, Press Secretary
+1 250-216-3382 | mat.wright@leg.bc.ca

PNW LNG Approval Fails Climate Tests

Media Statement: September 27th, 2016
PNW Approval Fails Climate Tests
For Immediate Release

Victoria, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Leader of the BC Green Party issued the following statement following the Federal Government’s approval of the PNW LNG facility:

“I am thoroughly disappointed in the Federal Government’s approval of the Pacific Northwest LNG facility late yesterday even though market conditions are such that it almost certainly will never be built. The Federal government is now chasing the exact same roller coaster economics that the BC Liberals committed themselves to with their LNG hype 4 years ago, and all the instability and uncertainty that it brings.

“In an initial review of the conditions provided, I am confident that the Federal government is not living up to its own rhetoric about taking climate change seriously. This project represents one of the single biggest sources of carbon pollution in the country. What’s worse, is that it sends the wrong message to the international community about Canada’s commitment to its international obligations.

“In signing the Paris climate agreement Trudeau stated: ‘Today, with my signature, I give you our word that Canada’s efforts will not cease… Climate change will test our intelligence, our compassion and our will. But we are equal to that challenge.’ Yesterday, Prime Minister Trudeau broke his word.

“British Columbians are increasingly uncertain about the path our province is on, and they only need to look next door in Alberta to see what happens when a single resource is prioritized above an innovative and diverse economy. I am constantly surprised by the narrow vision that the BC Liberals have for our economy.

“I believe our opportunities lie not in developing yet another GHG intensive fossil fuel resource, but in building on our strengths – our abundant renewable resources and our educated workforce in developing an economy that becomes an innovation hub for the world.


Media Contact
Mat Wright – Press Secretary
1 250 216 3382

Climate Action Announcement Definitely Not Leadership

Media Statement – August 19, 2016
Climate Action Announcement Definitely Not Leadership
For immediate release

Victoria B.C. – Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay – Gordon Head and leader of the B.C. Green Party calls the B.C. Government Climate Action announcement disappointing and lacking leadership.

“Not only has the Clark government dismantled many of the existing climate policies, but they are also ignoring key recommendations from their own expert panel on what needs to happen for B.C. to once again become a climate leader.

“For the past few years it has become painfully clear that the B.C. Liberals have chosen to forgo any leadership on this file, instead choosing to chase the LNG pipedream.

“As we go into another year with temperature records again being smashed across the world and in B.C., this government is content to fiddle and play games with carbon accounting. Without increasing the carbon levy there is no hope that British Columbia will meet its GHG reduction targets.

“For fifteenth consecutive month in a row, July 2016 emerged as the warmest month since measurements have been collected. Average global temperatures for the year-to-date period January-July 2016 shattered the previous record set in 2015. The government’s plan doesn’t demonstrate leadership. It demonstrates complacency and a wilful disregard of the urgency of dealing with climate change.

“British Columbia has an opportunity to become a leader in this world, establishing a 21st century economy built on innovation and clean technology. This goal cannot be realized with the current administration’s directionless approach to governance.

– 30 –

Backgrounder – Changes since Christy Clark became Premier

Under Premier Gordon Campbell, British Columbia emerged as an international leader in climate policy. But since Christy Clark has taken over at the helm, we’ve move from being a leader to becoming a laggard. The legacy of Premier Clark’s so-called climate leadership to date is as follows:

  1. The Clean Energy Act was amended to exclude emissions for liquefaction in LNG industry;
  2. The Pacific Carbon Trust was shut down;
  3. Carbon tax increase were halted;
  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 that is more about supporting an LNG industry than limiting emissions;
  6. The LiveSmart BC program has essentially shut down;
  7. Emissions have gone up year after year;
  8. We will not reach our legislated 2020 GHG reduction target.

Media contact
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
1 250 216 3382

Another nail in BC’s LNG coffin — But this one has a twist!

Imagine the joy in the BC Liberal back rooms when on May 19, Fortis announced that a small, yet important, 20-year agreement had been reached “to deliver 800,000 metric tons of LNG annually to Hawaiian Electric from Fortis BC’s Tilbury LNG facility in Delta, British Columbia, starting in 2021“.

Richard Coleman, BC’s minister of natural gas was obviously thrilled with the news. But were the BC Liberals celebrating too early? As has been so common with this government, the answer is yes.

On July 19 Fortis quietly announced that the deal had collapsed when a merger between Hawaii Electric and Florida-based NextEra Energy Resouces fell through. The significance of this announcement was not lost on Gordon Hoekstra of the Vancouver Sun who penned a story shortly after thereafter.

But what’s the real reason for the collapse of the deal? It’s quite simple. Hawaii presently supplies 23% of its electricity from renewables. They are committed to obtain 100% of their electricity from renewables by 2045 and it made no sense in 2016 to invest in new fossil fuel infrastructure.

This is but the latest example demonstrating how BC is being left behind. As I have detailed numerous times before on this site, the BC Liberal quest for an LNG windfall is reckless. It is inconsistent with its claim to be leader on climate policy and it is out of step with the rest of the world in the journey to decarbonize our energy systems.

Unfortunately it gets even worse. As BC goes all in on LNG, doubling down on the way, we have killed our once vibrant clean energy sector. BC taxpayers are building Site C for a non existent LNG industry. BC taxpayers will construct what will inevitably be an outrageously expensive Massey Bridge (instead of widening the existing tunnel) so that LNG supertankers can head down the river to Fortis’ Tilbury facility.

British Columbians deserve better.