Advocating for strong climate legislation in British Columbia

Program area – Climate Status: In progress
Overview
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Keeping Canada liveable for generations to come requires urgent action to combat the climate crisis - and each province has a part to play. For British Columbia, that means strengthening and enforcing provincial climate laws and setting serious targets to hold industry accountable to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Ecojustice's scientists and lawyers identified climate law reform as an essential step on B.C.'s path to a sustainable future. That's why we're part of an active coalition of organizations - alongside Pembina Institute, Sierra Club BC, West Coast Environmental Law, Georgia Strait Alliance and Stand.Earth - fighting for better climate laws in B.C.

There is no time to waste in the fight against climate change. B.C. is already a year late in developing a comprehensive plan to meet its 2030 emission targets. The province must act quickly to finalize and implement this plan and set us on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050.

The first challenge the coalition tackled was putting pressure on the provincial government to introduce climate accountability legislation. This action led to improved governance and better oversight of British Columbia. Then, the group's priority became urging the province to set strong emission reduction targets for each sector of the economy. BC established these "sectoral targets" in March 2021 and included a stand-alone target for the oil and gas sector - an important step in keeping track of the province's largest and fastest growing emitter.

Along with its coalition partners, Ecojustice is now undertaking government relations work to push the provincial government to develop a detailed plan that breaks down the steps and necessary changes required for B.C. to meet its 2030 emissions reduction target (a 40% reduction from 2007 emissions levels).

A strong 2030 plan is part of our longer-term focus on ensuring the province has "a credible path to net zero." During the 2020 provincial election, Premier John Horgan and the BC NDP committed to legislating a new net zero target for 2050. However, they have yet to outline how the province can achieve this goal while continuing to invest in fossil fuel development.

Climate accountability, ambitious sectoral targets and strong climate plans are crucial steps on the province's challenging road to net zero. Ecojustice believes it is possible to help shape a sustainable, safer future for everyone in Canada through engagement in government relations and policy-making.

Key developments

Press release

B.C. sets sectoral targets but squanders opportunity to boost climate accountability

VANCOUVER/UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) TERRITORIES  - The Governm...

March 26, 2021

Blog

Environmental law in Canada: three storylines to watch in 2021

It is a new year and the pandemic rages on. Yet hope is on the horizon. As the coronavirus vaccine rolls out across the country and gives...

January 13, 2021

Press release

B.C. government breaks promise on key climate deadline

Expansion of LNG and fracking derail climate action  VANCOUVER/UNCEDED xʷməθkwəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Skwxwú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND Səl̓...

December 7, 2020

Blog

B.C. election 2020: Three environmental platform proposals candidates should adopt

In the lead-up to the Oct. 24 B.C. election, Ecojustice is urging candidates to adopt a suite of environmental platform proposals that will ...

October 6, 2020

Press release

B.C. headed for provincial election, Ecojustice reacts

VANCOUVER – Ecojustice is calling for parties and candidates in British Columbia to make climate action and the protection of endangered s...

September 21, 2020

Blog

The Climate State of Play: February 2020

It’s February 2020 and, in the words of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, our house is still on fire. In the six months since Ec...

February 10, 2020

Press release

New climate accountability bill triggers much-needed reboot of B.C. climate laws

VANCOUVER - The Government of British Columbia’s proposed Climate Accountability Amendment Act, tabled today, triggers a much-needed reboo...

October 31, 2019

Blog

Sobering new B.C. emissions report shows why province needs new climate law

The latest figures on British Columbia’s carbon emissions, released last week, are sobering. According to the report, B.C.’s emission...

September 23, 2019

Blog

This is not a drill. We are in a state of emergency.

Ecojustice counts on your support to make sure our elected leaders act with the urgency that our twin emergencies — climate change and spe...

June 3, 2019

Press release

Statement: B.C. must account for LNG footprint in new climate laws

VANCOUVER – The provincial government tabled new legislation yesterday that would offer incentives for companies to build the LNG Canada t...

March 26, 2019

Press release

B.C. climate plan offers new climate accountability actions

Climate oversight a game-changer in keeping B.C. on track, say environmental groups VANCOUVER / COAST SALISH TERRITORY —  A group of ...

December 10, 2018

Press release

STATEMENT: B.C. government must show how it can meet climate commitments with LNG, Ecojustice says

VANCOUVER: British Columbia Premier John Horgan released a statement today claiming that the province intends to proceed with an LNG termina...

October 2, 2018

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