Clear Commitment for a Cooler Planet

Climate change is a planetary emergency.

Governments have failed to respond to the scale and urgency of the moment. British Columbians want the provincial government to take far-reaching action to reduce carbon emissions and protect life on Earth in a rapidly changing climate. We must all make radical changes towards a truly sustainable lifestyle. On top of individual change, decisive government action is critical to make the shift from dangerous resource extraction to a sane, low-carbon economy.

Because of our spectacular, abundant natural environment, British Columbia has real opportunities to significantly reduce emissions in the short term. By moving quickly to a low-carbon economy and by conserving rainforests and seagrass beds that store carbon safely, we can not only reduce emissions but also reduce carbon in the atmosphere.

This petition is a joint project in collaboration with Sierra Club BC the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' Climate Justice Project. Signatures collected from all of the participating organizations will be combined and then delivered to the provincial government.

 

Letter body:

To the Premier of British Columbia:

We call our province “the best place on Earth” for many reasons. The natural riches of British Columbia are truly spectacular. Development driven by resource extraction has contributed to building our economy and allowed many of us to lead comfortable lives. But the planetary emergency of global warming has ushered in a new era, in British Columbia and around the world. Business as usual can only lead to increasingly unusual and disastrous impacts.

Overwhelming scientific evidence makes it clear that global warming is bringing us to a tipping point that will profoundly and painfully disrupt our civilisation if we do not act immediately, as citizens and as governments elected by citizens.  We have changed the atmosphere and the oceans. We face a planetary emergency never before seen. 

With less than one degree of warming, eighty percent of Arctic Sea Ice melted in 2012. Mega-droughts, storms, floods and fires are impacting every part of the planet. Even conservative organizations like the International Energy Agency, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the World Bank are warning that we are on a path to catastrophic climate change and that we must dramatically reduce emissions to avoid the gathering storm of runaway global warming.

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have already passed the mark of 400 parts per million (PPM), for the first time in millions of years. We know that 350 PPM is a safe level, where life as we know it could continue. As we move past 400 PPM, we must take action (provincially, nationally and globally) to stop the growth of dangerous emissions - to protect and safeguard life on Earth.

We still have a chance to act; to stop global warming before it becomes unstoppable. Because of our history of logging, mining and extracting fossil fuels, we have a great moral responsibility to act now. The good news is that our province has many opportunities to significantly reduce our carbon footprint.

I urge you to show true moral and political leadership and commit our province to real climate action:

  • Recommit to the provincial emissions reduction targets and table a platform to meet them, in particular by expanding and increasing the carbon tax in a socially just way and with no exceptions or exemptions for big polluters.
  • Stop new fossil fuel projects, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, coal mines, and both the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines.
  • Shift all available resources toward renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, which will create new, sustainable jobs.
  • Increase conservation of BC’s land and marine ecosystems, to protect carbon sinks and species habitat, and allow for clean water, clean air, and food production in a changing climate.

Sincerely,