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B.C. Not On Track To Meet Climate Targets: Urgent Action Needed to Confront Climate Emergency

Shake Up The Establishment is a proud signatory of the B.C. Climate Emergency Campaign. The B.C. Climate Emergency Campaign is a group of civil society organizations, anxious about the climate emergency, who are collaborating to increase the ambition of climate policy and action in B.C.


Reads "proud signatory to the call for a genuine BC Climate Emergency Plan. Learn more at www.bcclimateemergency.ca"
Image credits: BC Climate Emergency Campaign (2023)

Since 2021, the campaign has been calling on the provincial government to develop and implement a transformative climate emergency plan that recognizes the interconnected nature of climate, ecological, and social crises; embeds equity, anti-racism, and social justice at its core; and upholds Indigenous Title and Rights, and Treaty Rights. (1) Since then, more than 550 organizations from diverse sectors of society representing over 2.2 million people in what is currently B.C. have signed an open letter urging the provincial government to implement these 10 actions to truly confront the climate emergency. (1)


Members of BC Climate Emergency Campaign standing before the audience at the launch of the 2023 progress report.
Image credits: Angelo Aguilar Maurer (2023)

On November 7th, SUTE attended the in-person release of the campaign’s latest 2023 Progress Report, warning that what is currently B.C. is not on track to meet its climate targets – and therefore graded the provincial government with “fail”. (1) The report sounds the alarm on ongoing support for fracking and liquified natural gas (LNG), allowing new housing infrastructure to be equipped with gas, and the ongoing logging of old-growth forests. (1) While the provincial government is making minor progress on 7 of 10 climate actions, incremental changes in policies lack the urgency required to confront the climate emergency. (1) Overall, what is currently B.C.’s climate-based efforts have been mostly reactive, responding to the climate disasters that have been plaguing the province, rather than implementing the preventative, proactive measures to reduce emissions and help keep citizens and the planet safe. (1)


Here is a brief summary of the 10 actions and their individual progress up to November 2023:

  1. Set binding climate targets based on science and justice - FAIL

  2. Invest in a thriving, regenerative, zero emissions economy – MINOR PROGRESS

  3. Rapidly wind down all fossil fuel production and use – FAIL

  4. End fossil fuel subsidies and make polluters pay – MINOR PROGRESS

  5. Leave no one behind – MINOR PROGRESS

  6. Protect and restore nature – MINOR PROGRESS

  7. Invest in local, organic, regenerative agriculture and food systems – MINOR PROGRESS

  8. Accelerate the transition to zero emission transportation – MINOR PROGRESS

  9. Accelerate the transition to zero emission buildings – MINOR PROGRESS

  10. Track and report progress on these actions every year – FAIL

To better understand these scores, you can access the full report here. (1)


Why have a BC Climate Emergency Campaign?


Hundreds of thousands of people across B.C. were directly impacted by the fires, floods, drought, and severe storms in 2023. The 2021 B.C. heat dome, wildfire season, floods, and landslides cost the province up to $17.1 billion, (2,3) with climate costs being covered by taxpayers.


Despite climate scientists and the International Energy Agency calling for an end to new fossil fuel infrastructure, some of what is currently B.C.’s cabinet ministers continue to support new LNG. (4) Make no mistake, LNG is not clean or green. (4) While the members of the campaign are aware that decisions around LNG are made in cabinet, individual cabinet ministers' stances on these decisions are kept secret – and we must put an end to it. You can find out which B.C. cabinet ministers are fueling the climate catastrophe by supporting new LNG infrastructure and which ones are against this dirty fossil fuel here.


Reads "Where do B.C. Cabinet ministers stand on the defining climate question of our time? this question refers to the use and expansion of liquified natural gas. It also reads "pro LNG," "anti-LNG," and "?" To see where B.C.'s cabinet ministers stand on LNG expansion, visit https://bcclimateemergency.ca/fracking-and-lng
Image credits: BC Climate Emergency Campaign (2023)

Although what is currently B.C. claims to be a leader in climate action, the province’s emissions have risen 27% since 1990, and they have effectively remained flat over the last 20 years. (5) In fact, the province is still the second largest provider of fossil fuel subsidies in what is currently Canada, second only to what is currently Alberta. (5) As such, we contend that what is currently BC’s:

  • emissions reduction targets do not align with climate science

  • plan to meet its emissions targets is incomplete and inadequate

  • support for LNG (natural gas) is exacerbating climate change (5)

If you live in what is currently B.C. and this inspired you to take action, make sure to check how to support this campaign individually or through an organization! Feel free to also visit Shake Up Your Community’s new bulletin board “Infiltrate the System” for climate justice news and calls-to-action across what is currently Canada!



Sources


  1. BC Climate Emergency Campaign. Confront the Climate Emergency: an Urgent Call to the B.C. Government, November 2023 Progress Report [Internet]. BC Climate Emergency Campaign. Vancouver, B.C.: BC Climate Emergency Campaign; 2023 Nov [cited 2023 Nov 10] p. 1–48. Available from: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/632a10e8bb5f3937c1451130/t/65490e73f85a894890fbaedf/1699286645977/BCCEC+Progress+Report+November+2023.pdf

  2. Bowman G. B.C. climate disasters cost up to $17B: study | CityNews Vancouver [Internet]. Vancouver City News. 2022 [cited 2023 Nov 11]. Available from: https://vancouver.citynews.ca/2022/12/01/bc-climate-disasters-cost-study/

  3. Lee M, Parfitt B. A Climate Reckoning The economic costs of BC’s extreme weather in 2021 [Internet]. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives . Vancouver, B.C.: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives ; 2022 Nov [cited 2023 Nov 10] p. 1–56. Available from: https://policyalternatives.ca/climate-reckoning

  4. BC Climate Emergency. Fracking and LNG [Internet]. BC Climate Emergency Campaign. BC Climate Emergency Campaign; 2023 [cited 2023 Nov 11]. Available from: https://bcclimateemergency.ca/fracking-and-lng

  5. BC Climate Emergency Campaign. Our Work [Internet]. BC Climate Emergency Campaign. 2021 [cited 2023 Nov 11]. Available from: https://bcclimateemergency.ca/the-campaign



Positionality Statement


Hello/Bonjour, my name is Angelo and I use he/they pronouns. I currently reside as an uninvited guest on the stolen and occupied lands of the Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Coast Salish peoples in what is colonially known as "Vancouver."

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