Many British Columbians — including those deeply concerned about climate change — harbour concerns about how renewable electricity is currently planned, promoted and developed in BC. They want to see renewable electricity projects, but they want to be confident that those projects are planned and developed in a way that limits impacts and maximizes benefits for British Columbians.
While government energy and climate policies have stimulated a rapid increase in the rate of development of green electricity projects, public support for this development has not kept pace. Projects have frequently been opposed due to concerns about social, environmental, and economic costs. Governments have been criticized for a lack of land-use and regional planning; for excluding public participation in decision-making; for deficient project assessment and monitoring requirements; for concerns over project licensing; for perceptions of weak energy conservation efforts; for negative impacts on BC’s long-term planning and electricity security needs; and for restructuring BC Hydro and restricting its ability to directly produce power.
We believe that it doesn’t have to be this way. We believe that a green and more prosperous future for BC is still possible — and desirable. The undersigned groups believe that planning and development for clean electricity can proceed in a way that is demonstrably more transparent, strategic, and inclusive of and beneficial to all British Columbians — First Nations and the public alike — and with limited environmental impact.
We offer six basic recommendations on the direction we think government should take in clean
electricity planning and development.