Reports and Resources

Reports & Backgrounders

Getting to net-zero in Canada – February 2024

Canada faces daunting—but not insurmountable—challenges to meet its net-zero commitments. This report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, supported by Sierra Club BC, outlines how through phasing out fossil fuels and implementing bold policies and incentives now, we can stabilize the climate and have a liveable future.

Species-at-risk Recovery in BC: Case StudyMay 2023

This independent case study assesses wildlife decline in B.C. and the legal gaps responsible in three geographic regions of B.C. (coastal, southern and northern areas), for six different species; caribou (southern mountain and boreal), spotted owls, western rattlesnake, great basin gopher snake, great basin spadefoot, and tiger salamander, representing diverse threats causing their decline.

Species-at-risk Recovery in BC: An audit of federal and provincial actions – November 2022

An independent report highlighting the federal and provincial legal gaps driving biodiversity loss and extinction in BC—and how a biodiversity law co-developed with Indigenous Nations can help fix this.

Protecting bear dens in B.C. forests – April 2022

An Environmental Law Centre report for Sierra Club BC.

Intact forests, safe communities – February 2021

A report on reducing community climate risks through forest protection and a paradigm shift in forest management.

Clearcut Carbon: A report on the future of forests in BC – December 2019

An in-depth review of forest carbon emissions, which found that ending clearcutting of forests is as important for BC climate action as phasing out fossil fuels.

Old-Growth Media Backgrounder– Fall 2019

A backgrounder for media on the state of old-growth forests in B.C.

Old-Growth Forest Fact Sheet – May 2019

A two page backgrounder on the crisis in BC’s forests and how the BC government can step up old-growth forest protection.

Joint Recommendations on Changes to FRPA – July 2019

A joint submission to the BC government’s review of forestry laws.

Applying Solutions from the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements to Vancouver Island and the South CoastJuly 2019

Environmental Law Centre report for Sierra Club BC

Forestry and Carbon in BCMarch 2019

A report by Dr. Jim Pojar debunking 7 myths about forests, carbon and climate change

Old-growth backgrounder for provincial legislation amendments – February 2019

A backgrounder on old-growth protection targets to inform amendments to the Forest & Range Practices Act

Hidden, Ignored and Growing: BC’s Forest Carbon Emissions – January 2019

A report on the massive and growing emissions from BC’s forests due to destructive logging, beetle outbreaks and climate change-fuelled wildfires. The BC government must begin to properly track and report on forest emissions.

Hydro Bill Madness: The BC Government Goes For Broke With Your Money – March 2017

This report shows the BC government is offering subsidies to LNG and fracking companies in the form of tax cuts, royalty credits, and below-cost power. To power this industry, the BC government decided to build the $9 billion Site C earth-fill dam. Taxpayers and BC Hydro ratepayers could be left with the bill for hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

Kinder Morgan Fact Sheet – Last updated January 2017

A backgrounder of facts on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers proposal.

Issue Briefing: Kinder Morgan Process Flaws – November 2016

A briefing note outlining the flaws in the NEB’s and Ministerial Panel’s Kinder Morgan review processes.

Issue Briefing: Kinder Morgan Project – November 2016

A briefing note outlining the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline and Tanker proposal.

Vancouver Island and South Coast Rainforest at High Ecological Risk – March 2016

A new mapping analysis by Sierra Club BC shows almost half the rainforest areas on Vancouver Island and the South coast at high ecological risk due to dangerously low levels of remaining productive old-growth forest.

The Future is Here: An Urgent Call to Defend Nature, Stabilize the Climate and Transition to Post-Carbon Prosperity – October 2015

This document outlines a vision and makes proposals for changing the way we manage B.C.’s waters, lands, and resources in the face of climate change and its accelerating impacts.

Blind Spot: The Failure to Consider Climate in British Columbia’s Environmental Assessments (Full Report) – September 2015

This report recommends a fundamental reform of the Environmental Assessment (EA) process for new projects. We recommend that the Province consistently apply a comprehensive “climate test” when assessing projects that could exacerbate climate change. (Blind Spot Backgrounder)

Credibility Crisis: Major Flaws Threaten Credibility of NEB Assessment of Kinder Morgan – June 2015

The National Energy Board (NEB) has been widely criticized in its review of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion proposal for failures in process, for limiting participation, and for a lack of accountability and fairness. In this report, we detail the deficiencies in the process to date that are giving rise to public criticism and dissatisfaction, and causing some intervenors to withdraw.

BC Forest Wake-Up Call: Heavy Carbon Losses Hit 10-Year Mark – June 2015

For a full decade, B.C. forests have been releasing dramatically more carbon into the atmosphere than they have absorbed out of the atmosphere. B.C.’s forests emitted 256 million tonnes of carbon dioxide during the period 2003 – 2012. In contrast, B.C.’s forests absorbed 441 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from 1993 to 2002.This is the key finding of a Sierra Club BC analysis of B.C. government forest carbon emissions data.

BC Forest Carbon Meltdown – January 2014

According to new provincial data quietly released on a government website, B.C. forests are now approaching a full decade of releasing carbon rather than absorbing it.

Carbon at Risk: Old-growth and Carbon – February 2013

Efforts to protect and restore the ability of our forests to store and sequester carbon must particularly focus on our temperate rainforests that have shown so far to be more resilient to climate impacts than other ecosystems. Increased conservation and improved forest management can help immediately to reduce provincial emissions. In the light of the alarming emission trends and the speed of climate change we can no longer afford to neglect our forests.

UNESCO Recommendations on the Flathead River Valley: A Report Card on Progress  – February 2013

Executive summary of the February 2013 report. CPAWS-BC, Headwaters Montana, NPCA, Sierra Club BC, Wildsight and Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.

Emissions Impossible? British Columbia’s Uncounted Greenhouse Gas Emissions Executive Summary – September 2012

Global warming is here, greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, and climate change impacts appear greater than feared. Despite these alarming trends, here in British Columbia climate policy has lost momentum and the provincial government is not building on its initial steps to fight global warming and reduce emissions in a coherent and adequate manner. (Emissions Impossible Executive Summary)

Joint Submission to the B.C. Ministry of Finance’s Carbon Tax Review  – August 2012

Labour and environmental movements across Canada have called for a fair and effective price on carbon as one of the tools needed to transition to a low carbon future. As such, we recognize B.C.’s carbon tax as an important step in that direction.

Towards a Clean Energy Accord – July 2012

This document is a collaborative, solutions-focused call for Canadian provincial leaders and aboriginal governments to embrace the responsibility and opportunity of developing a bold new energy strategy for Canada

Clean Water: A Resource Worth Protecting – July 2012

Coal mining threatens Vancouver Island water resources, and the industries that depend on them.

Presentation to the Special Committee on Timber Supply – July 2012

In July 2012, Sierra Club BC’s Forests and Climate campaigner Jens Wieting spoke to the Special Committee on on Timber Supply.

Scientists Declaration on Clayoquot Sound  – November 2011

133 experts and scientists have signed a declaration calling for the permanent protection of oldgrowth rainforests in Clayoquot Sound.

The Real Story B.C.’s Uncounted Greenhouse Gas Emissions GHG Emissions Backgrounder  – September 2011

In August 2011, the B.C. government quietly released only a limited set of updated data tables for provincial emissions in 2009. According to the new data, B.C.’s 2009 greenhouse gas emissions were 67 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Fair and Effective Carbon Pricing: Lessons from BC – February 2011

This report considers lessons learned to date from the BC experience, and the next steps required for an effective and equitable carbon pricing strategy. BC’s carbon pricing, while it is a positive first step, has serious flaws (Fair and Effective Carbon Pricing Executive Summary)

Restoring the Balance for Climate and Species – January 2011

Logging practices in B.C.’s coastal rainforests are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions and must be included in B.C.’s official annual carbon emissions tally, Sierra Club BC said today in a report. This report reveals that B.C.’s official  carbon emissions would be 24 per cent higher if emissions from coastal rainforests were included.

Back in Black: The Dirty World of Coal in B.C. – May 2010

Coal was one of Vancouver Island’s earliest industries, and now it is making a dubious come-back. A new coal mine called “Raven” is proposed near Fanny Bay in the scenic Comox Valley.

Blue Carbon – British Columbia – August 2010

B.C.’s estuaries hold extraordinary potential for moderating climate change and should be our highest priority for conservation of any marine or terrestrial habitat. This report evaluates the carbon storage potential of two highly-biodiverse marine habitats—salt marsh and seagrass meadow—in the light of a recent discovery of the crucial role of estuarine vegetation in binding carbon.

Managing BC’s Forests for a Cooler Planet – January 2010

This paper advocates for a broad approach to managing our publicly-owned forest resources. It invites us to re-imagine forestry in BC, not through the traditional (and opposing) lenses of either maximizing human use, or maximizing protected areas, but rather, with a view towards maximizing carbon storage.

State of British Columbia’s Coast Rainforest: Mapping the Gaps for Ecological Health and Climate Protection – December 2009

This analysis by the Sierra Club BC mapping department shows how decades of industrial logging have led to a significant decline in the amount of old-growth coverage in coastal rainforest ecosystems, seriously compromising species habitat and carbon storage capacity. (High resolution also available)

Clean Electricity Recommendations – December 2009

Many British Columbians — including those deeply concerned about climate change — harbour concerns about how renewable electricity is currently planned, promoted and developed in BC. We offer six basic recommendations on the direction we think government should take in clean electricity planning and development.

Defense for Climate and Species – February 2009

A report based on a review of potential climate change implications of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Scenarios for B.C. – August 2008

In this paper we review current science, from the most credible sources, to help provide an understanding of the basis for, and the scale of, the global warming problem and the kind of contribution BC might make to its solution (Authors Summary)(Appendices)

Letters & Submissions

Submission to the draft Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health framework – January 31, 2024.

Joint comment on the B.C. Oil and Gas Emissions Cap Policy Paper – October 2023

United We Stand for Old-Growth Forests: A Declaration – January 10, 2023.

Open letter by coalition asking B.C. government to end wildlife killing contests – December 6, 2022.

Joint letter to AIG on ruling out Trans Mountain and respecting Indigenous rights – April 28, 2022.

Submission to B.C.’s Royalty Review Process – December 10, 2021

Sierra Club BC feedback on B.C.’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Draft Strategy/Phase 1 Actions – August 12, 2021

Joint letter by Executive Director Hannah Askew and Bud Napoleon, Treaty 8 Elder and Sierra Club BC Board member, to John Horgan regarding Site C – January 18, 2021

Sierra Club BC feedback on revisions to the B.C. Forest Carbon Offset Protocol (FCOP) – May 31, 2021

Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau on oil and gas sector bailout – March 24, 2020

Submission to BC old-growth review process – January 31, 2020

Joint Letter to Emergency Management Re: Emergency Management Costs and the Fossil Fuel Industry – January 31, 2020

Submission to BC climate preparedness and adaptation engagement – January 9, 2020

Submission to BC Interior Forest Sector Renewal engagement – October 11, 2019

FRPA Phase II Changes – Joint ENGO Submission – July 5, 2019

Submission to the Senate Committee Regarding Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act – May 6, 2019

Letter to Southwest Mines Division re: Giant Copper/Imperial Metals File number: 0700195 – April 18, 2019

Letter to UNESCO re: Upcoming 43rd World Heritage Committee meeting and inscription of Wood Buffalo National Park as a World Heritage Site in Danger – April 12, 2019

Letter to Tom Shypitka, MLA Kootenay East re: comments on Fernie.com – April 3, 2019

Open letter re: Urging support for the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act – March 13, 2019

Open letter from coalition of 54 to BC government to immediately end three ‘wildlife killing contests’ – March 10, 2019

Sierra Club BC Feedback re: Parks Canada Draft Action Plan for Wood Buffalo National Park – December 10, 2018

Joint letter of concern re: GM fish – December 3, 2018

Sierra Club BC letter to municipal candidates re: rainforest action – October 15, 2018

Sierra Club BC letter re: provincial climate targets and support for LNG Canada – September 20, 2018

Joint letter re: provincial species at risk legislation and BC Species at Risk Law – ENGO Comments – September 2018

Sierra Club BC Clean Growth Intentions Papers Submission – August 24, 2018

Sierra Club BC letter re: Klappan Plan – July 30, 2018

Sierra Club BC Environmental Assessment Revitalization Submission – July 30, 2018

Letter to Premier Horgan re: Skagit Valley logging – July 10, 2018

Letter to Minister Freeland re: the need for inclusion of First Nations in the Columbia River Treaty renegotiation – June 26, 2018

Letter to Minister Fleming re: inclusion of weather in Grade 3 science curriculum – June 21, 2018

Letter to Minister Conroy re: Columbia River Treaty – May 15, 2018

Sierra Club BC Spill Regulations Submission – May 1, 2018

Sierra Club BC Professional Reliance Review Submission – January 19, 2018

Open letter to BC government re: upholding rights of Indigenous Peoples means stopping Site C – November 2, 2017

Letter to Premier Horgan and cabinet re: Site C decision – October 30, 2017

Open Statement on NAFTA – September 26, 2017

Submission to British Columbia Utilities Commission regarding Site C dam – August 30, 2017

Policy Recommendations for Old-Growth Forest Protection, support for First Nations and
Sustainable Forestry Jobs in BC – July 27, 2017

Letter to Premier-Designate John Horgan re: suspending evictions and contracting process at Site C – July 11, 2017

Open Letter to Hon. Christy Clark, John Horgan & Andrew Weaver re: Site C dam – May 18, 2017

Open Letter to the Future Premier of British Columbia re: grizzly trophy hunt – May 5, 2017

Letter to BC election candidates re: urgent action for Vancouver Island’s rainforest and communities – May 2, 2017

Letter to Ministers McKenna and Bennett re: UNESCO report on Wood Buffalo National Park – March 29, 2017

Letter to Premier Clark re: the need for a Cave Protection Act – February 9, 2017

Open letter to BC local governments re: holding fossil fuel companies responsible for climate change – January 25, 2017

Submission to federal Environmental Assessment Review – December 13, 2016

Joint letter to Premier Clark regarding diluted bitumen spills – October 5, 2016

Submission to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre / IUCN Mission to Wood Buffalo National Park and World Heritage Site – May-June 2016

Letter of Comment – Enbridge Northern Gateway request for extension – June 23, 2016

Letter to Premier Clark Re: Site C Impacts – May 2016

Letter to Minister Carr re: Trans Mountain Expansion Project Transitional Review Process – May 12, 2016

Submission on Ajax to Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation – April 5, 2016

Northern Goshawk & Marbled Murrelet BC Recovery Strategy Submission – March 25, 2016

Climate Leadership Team submission – March 24, 2016

Letter to federal government re: murder of indigenous river defender Berta Caceres – March 18, 2016

Obama Trudeau State Dinner Letter from Flathead Wild – Feb. 22, 2016

Letter to Minister Tootoo re SRKW action plan delay – Feb. 15 2016

Nothing Clean About Site C Dam – Feb. 11, 2016

Joint Letter to Min. Garneau re. Oil by Rail – Feb. 9, 2016

Letter to Alaska governor from British Columbia calling for IJC engagement – Jan. 20, 2016

Open Letter on Climate Change to B.C. Premier Christy Clark – Jan. 11, 2016

Letter to Premier Clark re. Closing Arguments to NEB on Kinder Morgan – Jan. 8, 2016

Declaration to Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground – Dec. 2, 2015

Joint Letter to Pm Trudeau and Member of Cabinet re. Site C and Climate Change – Nov. 17, 2015

Joint Letter to PM Trudeau about Kinder Morgan – Nov 12, 2015

Open Letters to Federal Leaders Regarding Climate Test – Sept 14, 2015

Open letter to Minister Thomson, re: Teal Jones logging in Walbran Valley – July 7, 2015

Open Letter to Christy Clark re. B.C’s Climate Action Plan – June 18, 2015

Letter to Premier Clark in response to Feb. 10 2015 Throne Speech – February 2015

An open letter to all British Columbia MPs and MLAs regarding Pull Together – February 6, 2015

Letter to Minister Polak regarding Kinder Morgan’s application to change park boundaries – October 14, 2014

Letter to Premier Clark and Minister Bennett regarding the Independent Investigation into Mount Polley Disaster – August 20, 2014