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Climate Change

Climate change is the greatest ecological challenge of this century. Since West Coast Environmental Law’s early work in the nineties to advocate for greenhouse gas reduction targets, climate change has moved from a scientific discussion to a critical mainstream concern. We now experience more extreme weather, pest outbreaks like the pine beetle, melting glaciers with rising sea levels, and looming water shortages due to climate change.

In the face of great adversity, we find great opportunity, and this is ours: spurred by heightened environmental concern, West Coast Environmental Law is empowering and mobilizing the people and communities of BC and Canada to reform environmental law to protect our planet and open up vast opportunities for a thriving, green economy.

To do so, we are shaping greenhouse gas reduction policies, developing forestry legislation, influencing oil and gas legislation, guiding communities to mitigate climate change, creating legal safeguards for renewable energy projects, and developing more responsible approaches to our use and protection of water resources.

West Coast Environmental Law is creating a legislative framework that will allow British Columbia and Canada to do its part to protect and sustain the Earth’s atmosphere. Our work on climate change includes:

  • Clean and Renewable Energy – Small scale renewable power in BC has been hailed as both a tool to battle global warming and attacked as selling out the environment. West Coast Environmental Law is advocating for laws that encourage renewable energy, but in a way that does not undermine environmental values.
  • Community climate action - One of the biggest issues now facing local governments is climate change. This project aims to provide innovative direction for local governments to respond effectively to the global climate crisis.
  • Forests and climate change - New laws and policies that harness market forces to address climate change have the potential to both dramatically reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases and help native species of plants and animals survive and adapt in the face of climate change.
  • Global warming solutions – Allowing climate change to continue unchecked is not an option; Canadians need strong laws that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. West Coast is currently drafting a law reform platform for climate change.
  • Tar Sands, Tankers and Pipelines – Pipelines across northern British Columbia and oil tankers on our North Coast are proposed to help expand Alberta’s tar sands – one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. West Coast Environmental Law is working with allies to strengthen the moratorium on oil tanker traffic through legislation, and to limit the expansion of tar sands infrastructure in BC.

For a list of all West Coast Climate Change publications, please click here.