(Vancouver) Leading environmental organizations, unions and a wide range of other groups are calling on the government and opposition to launch a frank conversation about climate change during the 2013 BC election campaign.
“We don’t want BC to repeat the failure to discuss climate change that we saw in the US elections,” says Marc Lee, co-director of the Climate Justice Project and one of the organizers of the open letter. “In spite of dramatic weather events and other clear signs, American politicians were silent on what many are now calling a planetary emergency.”
BC has a framework in place, the 2007 GHG Reduction Targets Act, but Lee points out that if the government continues with its Natural Gas Strategy it will be impossible to meet the legislated targets.
"The BC government is breaking its own law with its plans for massive expansion of fracking and liquefied natural gas (LNG) export development,” says Lee. "We should be calling it the Dirty Energy Strategy."
BC can and should stick with its GHG targets by nurturing a clean energy economy, say co-signers of the letter.
"BC can be a North American leader in reducing global warming emissions and improve our quality of life at the same time," says Ian Bruce of the David Suzuki Foundation, a co-signer of the open letter.
Jim Britton of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union says that his members agree. "Workers in BC know that we need to make the transition to a low-emissions economy," says Britton. "Investments in clean energy will create more jobs while doing the right thing for our future."
The letter calls for all parties to recommit to the targets and timelines laid out in BC's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, and to show how they will meet BC's 2020 target of a 33% reduction in GHG emissions (relative to 2007 levels) in their platforms.
For interviews, contact Sarah Leavitt at 604-801-5121 x233 or [email protected]
See the open letter at http://www.policyalternatives.ca/bc-ghg-open-letter
See a 2-minute video about BC's Natural Gas Strategy at http://bit.ly/dontfrackthelaw