VICTORIA, Territory of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations – Lawyers with West Coast Environmental Law applauded BC’s Budget 2019 for delivering on funding promises to implement the government’s climate plan, CleanBC. The organization argued that funding aggressive climate action makes sense both economically and environmentally, but cautioned that there needs to be greater urgency across government to achieve BC’s climate goals.
“BC is a place that environmentally-minded businesses will want to invest, because of our beautiful natural environment, plentiful resources and renewable energy,” said Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer. “Budget 2019 builds on that advantage by funding an aggressive path to further lower our provincial greenhouse gas pollution.”
“By training British Columbians to work in a low carbon economy, by funding public transit and by retrofitting buildings, Budget 2019 is reasserting BC’s position as a North American leader on climate change. These initiatives are expected to create thousands of good paying jobs for British Columbians.”
Despite the positive words about Budget 2019’s climate funding, Gage cautioned that more needs to be done to achieve the province’s climate goals and to ensure that all Ministries are treating climate change as an emergency.
“Budget 2019 shows that BC needs to do more to meet its legislated climate goals. Right now some ministries and some parts of Budget 2019 are actively working against those goals – for example with subsidies for liquefied natural gas projects. All government ministries need to work together if BC is going to be a true climate leader.”
Gage argued that commitments to ongoing auditing and planning in CleanBC, if implemented, could help ensure that all government ministries do their part to achieve the province’s climate goals.
In addition to the CleanBC funding in Budget 2019, West Coast also applauds funding for:
- Environmental assessment revitalization;
- Ensuring oversight of resource professions;
- Increased environmental oversight in mining; and
- Increased monitoring of polluting industries.
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