So that’s a “NO” then?

by Simon Wheeler

The Premier of B.C. announced the British Columbia government’s climate action plan in Richmond on 19 August 2016.

Late on a hot Friday afternoon last week the BC Provincial Government released their long awaited and much delayed Climate Leadership Plan.  It was as though they wanted to bury this document to avoid any media spotlight or comment.

Let’s step back. Just over a year ago the government announced, with great fanfare, the setting up of their new Climate Leadership Plan, including a strong team of stakeholder advisers drawn from industry, environmental groups, the First Nations and universities. Their mandate was to produce a robust report with input from the public and including interim and final recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the province. The path for the reductions was needed because the BC Government itself was committed by law to a 33% reduction from 2007 levels by 2020.

The Leadership Team worked hard and listened carefully to the comments made. They produced their interim report in November 2015, along with invitations for a further round of public discussion. The final report was initially due in March 2016 but ominously failed to appear despite calls from some members of the Leadership Team for explanations.

By this time it was apparent that the government’s own targets for 2020 were unachievable. Indeed it looked like there would be a rise in emissions rather than a reduction. The Team, in its interim report, had suggested a modified target of 40% reduction by 2030 and 80% by 2050, together with some clearly defined pathways to achieve these goals whilst maintaining economic growth.

What has the government given us?  A report that ignores their 2020 legislated emissions reduction, ignores the suggested 2030 target, and coincidentally thumbs its nose at the Federal government’s stated intention for a national 30% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030. It also ignores most of the Leadership Team’s recommendations, together with their suggested pathways to emissions reduction, and now presents some flawed figures that will not even get them halfway to the stated target for 2050.

So indeed it’s a “NO”. NO to meeting the government’s own targets, NO to any credible plans for emissions reduction in the future and certainly NO to any form of climate leadership.

BC deserves better.



  1. Thank you Simon for your plaintive cry for our provincial government to do better, I agree but then one has to remember that we are coming up to an election year! Our democracy is hamstrung by the election cycles and the need to get back into power. Long term visions and the will to implement them are rare. However, as I write I sit here comfortably watching the turbine on Grouse generating (some limited) power, with the blue sky, scudding clouds and wonderful 25 degree weather, I wonder how anything can be wrong. At least my generation and my little part of the world is OK so why should I worry?

  2. The basic problem is that effective action to deal with climate change requires collective action and resources, and that comes into conflict with the BC Liberals’ belief that the best government is one that is small and leaves things to the private sector. Anything that might be considered as an increase in “taxes” is out of the question. Let’s hope that after the election that they, if elected, will reconsider.

  3. I agree with Graham’s point that our lovely part of the world has been lucky – so far. B.C. needs to “feel the burn” before this government believes they have the mandate to increase the carbon tax, even though it’s effective and is a model for other provinces and countries.

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