BCLA has become a signatory to the BC Climate Emergency Campaign, which is putting pressure on the BC government to confront the climate emergency and commit to ten climate actions. In 2021, the Campaign sent an open letter to the BC government, with the support of 200 organizational signatories. It has now surpassed 540 organizational signatories, which includes a diverse network of agriculture, arts, business, community, environment, faith, health, housing, Indigenous, labour, local government, outdoor recreation, research, senior, tourism, and youth organizations.
BCLA’s endorsement of the campaign is based on the BCLA Climate Emergency Declaration resolution in 2020, the recommendation of the BCLA Climate Action Committee, and the reputation and standing of the steering committee and the other signatories.
The 10 actions called for are:
1. Set binding climate pollution targets based on science and justice
Reduce BC’s greenhouse gas emissions by ~7.5% per year below 2007 levels. Set binding reduction targets of 15% by 2023; 30% by 2025; 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2040 (below 2007 levels). Review and update targets regularly as climate science evolves.
2. Invest in a thriving, regenerative, zero emissions economy
Invest 2% of BC’s GDP ($6 billion per year) to advance the zero emissions economy and create tens of thousands of good jobs. Spend what it takes to immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create new economic institutions to get the job done. Ensure that the economic component of Aboriginal Title is recognized through the sharing of benefits and revenues that result.
3. Rapidly wind down all fossil fuel production and use
Immediately stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure including fracking, oil and gas pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and fossil fuel-derived hydrogen. Rapidly phase out and decommission all existing fossil fuel production and exports.
4. End fossil fuel subsidies and make polluters pay
End all fossil fuel subsidies and financial incentives by 2022. Ensure that those industries that profit from fossil fuel pollution pay their fair share of the resulting climate damage.
5. Leave no one behind
Ensure a just transition for fossil fuel workers, resource-dependent communities, and Indigenous and remote communities impacted by fossil fuel production. It will be critical to collaborate in true partnership with Indigenous peoples in climate action. Prepare our communities for the impacts of the climate crisis to minimize human suffering and infrastructure damage. Support those most vulnerable to climate change impacts.
6. Protect and restore nature
Protect 30% of terrestrial and marine ecosystems by 2030; support and invest in Indigenous-led conservation initiatives; restore natural ecosystems to enhance ecosystem functions and services, preserve biodiversity, increase carbon sequestration, and improve human and ecosystem resilience to climate impacts. Impose an immediate moratorium on the industrial logging of all old growth forests which are critical carbon sinks.
7. Invest in local, organic, regenerative agriculture and food systems
Incentivize carbon storage in soil, restore biodiversity, and ensure food sovereignty and food security across the province. Increase consumption of plant-based foods, and reduce food waste. Support Indigenous communities that wish to maintain traditional food systems and enhance their food security.
8. Accelerate the transition to zero emission transportation
Invest in affordable, accessible, and convenient public transit within and between all communities. Reallocate infrastructure funds from highway expansion to transit and active transportation (cycling, rolling, and walking). Mandate zero emissions for all new light vehicles by 2027, and all medium and heavy duty vehicles by 2030.
9. Accelerate the transition to zero emission buildings
Ban new natural gas connections to all new and existing buildings by end of 2022. Create a Crown Corporation to mobilize the workforce to retrofit all existing buildings and eliminate fossil fuel heating by 2035, and to build new affordable zero emissions buildings.
10. Track and report progress on these actions every year
Embed all of these actions in legislation to ensure accountability, transparency, and inclusion. Establish rolling 5-year carbon budgets that decline over time towards zero emissions by 2040 or sooner.