Environmental groups applaud team's cross-sectoral recommendations but
say BC needs to go faster and further in its pioneering fight against
VANCOUVER, Aug. 7 /CNW/ - 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
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
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
"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."
For further information:
For further information: 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