WCELA Comments on Developing a Strategic Assessment of Climate Change Discussion Paper

Anna Johnston, Staff Lawyer
Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer

In July 2018, the federal government published a discussion paper, “Developing a Strategic Assessment of Climate Change,” which proposes key processes and questions to guide an assessment of how to better consider climate in environmental assessments.

WCEL’s submission urges the government to establish a process that will best ensure that future assessment authorities will have the tools they need to determine whether a project helps or hinders Canada’s ability to meet its international climate obligations and goals, rather than continuing to make politicized decisions without providing a clear rationale. Such a process would:

  • Be conducted by an independent expert panel that has Indigenous representation and a broad range of expertise and perspectives;
  • Have a broad terms of reference, rather than keep options off the table before the assessment has even begun;
  • Enable meaningful public participation throughout each stage of the assessment, rather than merely allow public comments on a draft report;
  • Identify regional and sectoral carbon budgets to better help understand the significance of projects’ emissions; and
  • Be accountable and transparent, by showing the public how their participation has been considered.
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