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Open letter: B.C. has opportunity to get back on track to 2050 climate target

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The Energy Forum -- a coalition of B.C. power producers, industry associations and environmental organizations -- released yesterday an open letter calling on the B.C. government to deliver a plan to achieve the province's 2050 climate target:

Honourable Christy Clark
Premier of British Columbia
PO Box 9041 STN PROV GOVT
Victoria, BC  V8W 9E1

June 21, 2016

Re: Spring Climate Leadership Plan

Dear Premier Clark,

With your end-of-June deadline for a new climate plan fast approaching, we would like to reiterate our support for a plan that puts B.C. back on track for its 2050 climate target. As we detailed in our February 9 letter, we support the Climate Leadership Team’s package of 32 recommendations as the blueprint for getting to the 2050 climate target.

Implementing the Climate Leadership Team recommendations will solve B.C.'s growing carbon pollution problem, attract renewable energy investment and have broad support in British Columbia.

  • Growing carbon pollution problem: Between 2010 and 2014, carbon pollution in British Columbia increased by 2 Mt CO2eq -- equivalent to adding 500,000 cars to the road.Projections from Environment and Climate Change Canada show these emissions climbing another 20 Mt CO2eq by 2030. B.C. is now expected to have the highest emissions growth of any province when existing plans are taken into account.
  • Attract renewable energy investment: Acting on climate would drive an additional $5 billion in renewable energy investment over the next 10 years. Last year, B.C. saw a 52 per cent decline in investment in renewable energy projects across the province, and there are few prospects for renewable energy developers in the near future. In contrast, Alberta's climate plan would mean increasing demand for renewables by at least 13,500 GWh, equivalent to an investment of $12.7 billion over the next 14 years.
  • Broad support for action: The support for a 2016 plan is growing.
    • In November 2015, academics from across British Columbia submitted an open letter to Premier Clark calling for a credible climate plan.
    • In November 2015, groups representing over 1,000 organizations, companies and cities supported the implementation of an ambitious climate plan.
    • In November 2015, over 75 companies, organizations and local governments from across British Columbia called on the government to take action to reduce carbon from the buildings sector.
    • In March 2016, more than 160 businesses signed on in support of increasing the carbon tax.
    • In April 2016, eight mayors and councilors from the municipalities of Burns Lake, Castlegar, City of North Vancouver, Dawson Creek, District of North Vancouver, North Cowichan, Smithers and Vancouver supported a strong climate plan.
    • In May 2016, seven Climate Leadership Team members released an open letter to Premier Clark asking for action on climate that puts the province back on track for its 2050 target.

We urge you to announce a climate plan this month that puts B.C. back on track for its 2050 climate targets. This is an opportunity for B.C. to regain its position as a Canadian and global climate leader. As Alberta, Ontario and Quebec have demonstrated, there is no need to wait for the federal government to complete its work before acting.

Sincerely,

Jeremy Moorhouse, Senior Analyst
Clean Energy Canada

Paul Kariya, Executive Director
Clean Energy BC

On behalf of all members of the Energy Forum:

Alterra Power
Boralex
BC Sustainable Energy Association
Clean Energy BC
Chinook Power Corp.
Clean Energy Canada
David Suzuki Foundation
Ecofish Research Ltd.
Ecotrust Canada
Innergex
Pembina Institute
MK Ince & Associates
Sea Breeze Power Corp.
Watershed Watch Salmon Society
West Coast Environmental Law
WWF Canada

See an original version of this letter on the Pembina Institute's website, which includes citations to the above figures.

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