Sierra Club BC Climate Justice Campaigner Anjali Appadurai responds to today’s updated CleanBC plan announcement, Roadmap to 2030.
SIERRA CLUB BC WELCOMES today’s Roadmap to 2030 announcement, but we maintain that the agreement does not provide the level of ambition and detail needed to ensure that BC’s 2030 targets are met or exceeded.
While the Roadmap outlines strong steps to tackle emissions from transportation and buildings, key issues that remain unaddressed include fossil fuel subsidies, uncounted forest emissions, and fracked LNG.
We are disappointed that today’s announcement offered no clarity on when the province will end fossil fuel subsidies and financial incentives, which would ensure that those industries that profit from fossil fuel pollution pay their fair share of the resulting climate damage.
Additionally, uncounted forest emissions are much higher than officially reported emissions, yet they remain largely ignored. We note the significant omission from the Roadmap to 2030 of a clear path to reduce the staggering emissions caused by clearcut logging.
For example, the Roadmap calls for an end to slash burning, but not until 2030. Allowing this practice to continue another nine years is a clear indicator that this government is not grasping how little time is left to avoid climate breakdown.
There was also no information provided on how the province will ensure emissions increase from building LNG terminals and expanding fracking will be kept below a certain level. The provincial government claims they will not allow emissions from the sector to impact the ability to meet its targets but there is no cap for LNG production or other binding mechanisms.
This means that some of the good steps the province is taking to reduce emissions in other sectors are at risk of being neutralized by emissions from fossil fuel extraction, production and export to other countries where they will cause even more emissions when burned and compete with renewable energy solutions.
Of significant concern to us is that the Roadmap focuses mainly on 2030 targets, nine years away, and does not include binding targets and pathways to set or achieve milestones in the intervening years. B.C.’s emissions have increased every year from 2015 to 2019; this calls for immediate action to curb emissions in the short, medium and long term.
Overall, we welcome the current effort but continue to push for a CleanBC plan that treats the climate crisis like an emergency, similar to the public health emergency that was the COVID-19 pandemic.
A roadmap to 2030 with most policy milestones in 2030 and beyond would have been appropriate 10 or 20 years ago, but in the present day, it does not reflect the state of emergency that B.C. should recognize when it comes to climate change. BC is already experiencing climate-induced wildfires, smoke-filled skies, heat waves, extreme weather events and sea-level rise. These and other impacts will get worse as climate change progresses.
Anjali Appadurai is a climate justice advocate, communicator and consultant. She works to strengthen climate change messaging and discourse in Canada by centring the stories of those on the frontlines of the climate crisis. She brings a strong justice lens to climate change messaging and connects climate issues to socioeconomic and political realities. Anjali works with the Sierra Club BC team to support our role as a strong contributor to the Canadian and global climate justice movement.