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Climate framework a good first step, fails to plot path to sustainable future

Thursday, December 8, 2016


VANCOUVER, BC, Coast Salish Territories – Lawyers with West Coast Environmental Law Association are celebrating the many positive elements in today’s national climate framework to address the country’s greenhouse gas pollution – including requiring provinces to place a price on greenhouse gas emissions.

However, the organization warned that the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change fails to answer fundamental questions about how Canada can move to a sustainable, climate-friendly economy. Notably, the framework fails to explain how the government’s recent decision to approve oil sands pipelines can be squared with Canada’s promises to do its fair share to avoid catastrophic climate change.

“Today we are celebrating Canada’s national framework and the historic decision to place a national price on carbon, but we must keep our sights on achieving a truly science-based approach that plots a path to the future,” said Andrew Gage, Staff Counsel with West Coast. “The framework does not yet clearly show how each province and industry will do its fair share in moving towards a sustainable, climate-friendly economy. In particular, it fails to reconcile new pipelines and expanding oil sands development with Canada’s ability to meet its already inadequate climate commitments.”

“It is indeed positive – and long overdue – that we finally have all provinces and the federal government agreeing to work together on climate action, and that the premiers agree that more needs to be done. The next step has to be to build on that foundation, to develop science-based plans that will see Canadians collectively setting ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets and actually achieving them,” Gage said.

West Coast’s report, A Carbon Budget for Canada, released at the 2015 Paris climate negotiations, advocated for a national framework that gives both scientists and politicians a key role in a transparent process for setting targets and measuring government progress toward achieving them.


For more information, please contact:

Andrew Gage, Staff Counsel
250-412-9784 (Victoria) or 604-601-2506 (Vancouver),