From September 20 to 27, more than 7.6 million people across the globe rose up for climate justice. So, what’s next?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 3, 2019
VANCOUVER – Ecojustice and Sierra Club BC are in court this week to challenge the British Columbia government’s decision to exempt two Petronas Canada dams from environmental assessments — after the company had already gone ahead and built the dams unlawfully.
The Town Dam and Lily Dam are located north of Fort St. John, B.C. Both dams store water used in fracking operations, making them a key part of a network of infrastructure linked to LNG development in the province.
On behalf of Sierra Club BC, Ecojustice lawyers will appear in the British Columbia Supreme Court on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4. There, they will argue the province’s decision to exempt the dams from environmental assessment is not only extraordinary, but is not an option available to the province under the law.
Representatives from Ecojustice and Sierra Club BC released the following statements at the start of the hearing.
Olivia French, lawyer, Ecojustice:
“The B.C. government’s decision to exempt two Petronas Canada dams from environmental assessment raises serious questions about its ability to safely regulate energy projects while ramping up LNG development in northern B.C.
“Petronas Canada acted with flagrant disregard for the province’s environmental laws when it built the Lily and Town dams without first receiving the required legal approvals.
“The province’s decision to exempt the dams from environmental assessment sets a dangerous precedent — and suggests the government is not only unwilling to punish companies that break the law, but may actually reward them by facilitating a less rigorous review processes.”
Hannah Askew, executive director, Sierra Club BC:
“If this retroactive exemption is allowed to stand, British Columbia’s reputation for lax enforcement of environmental regulations will only get worse.
“It’s irresponsible and unacceptable for the B.C. government to let oil and gas corporations such as Petronas Canada knowingly break the law with no consequences.
“In an era when carbon pollution from oil and gas companies is threatening our communities with extreme weather like flooding and wildfires, we need stronger laws and better enforcement to put the health and safety of our communities ahead of corporate profit.”
Ecojustice is Canada’s largest environmental law charity. Ecojustice goes to court and uses the power of the law to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment for all.
Sierra Club BC works to defend B.C.’s wild places and species, within the urgent context of climate change.
For media inquiries:
Olivia French, lawyer | Ecojustice
Please contact Emily Chan, email@example.com, 604 685 5618 ext. 277
Tim Pearson, communications director | Sierra Club BC
Photo: Lily Dam (Ben Parfitt)
September 20 to 27
In communities around the world
From September 20 to 27, youth across the globe are rising up for climate justice. And they are asking everyone (including adults) to join them for the biggest worldwide climate strike we’ve seen yet.
For the past year, we’ve been so inspired by the millions of students who have taken to the streets to demand governments take real action on climate change. But cheering them on from the sidelines isn’t enough. To achieve the needed level of change it will take all of us acting alongside students in solidarity.
We’re in. Are you?
Join the Week of Action!
Around the world: Find a climate strike in your community or sign up to organize one.
If you’re in Vancouver and you’d like to support the students by being a peace-bearer and ensuring safety, please contact our Lead Organizer Galen Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In Greater Victoria: Check out this exciting list of events for the Week of Action.
If you’re in Victoria, you can meet with other Sierra Club BC supporters at the fountain in front of the legislature at 11:30AM on Friday.
Watch our webinar: The world’s forests are in crisis, hit by the double whammy of climate change and ongoing human destruction. Despite the negative trends, they continue to help us stave off even worse impacts of climate change by absorbing a large amount of our carbon emissions and protecting communities to some degree from flooding, droughts and fires. But how much longer can forests withstand these pressures?
Join our Senior Forest and Climate Campaigner Jens Wieting to find out what BC and Canada need to do to protect forests and inspire global action. Learn how to support Sierra Club BC’s campaign to save the last old-growth forests before it’s too late.
Want to do even more? Here are 5 important actions you can take:
- Show up!!
- Talk to your friends, neighbours, coworkers and family – and your kids’ teachers – about why the strikes are happening, why you support the youth, and how they can get involved.
- Join the social media storm – use the hashtags #GlobalClimateStrike, #EarthStrike, #FridaysForFuture and #ClimateStrike. Find sample posts, graphics, videos and other content you can share here
- Contribute. Offer your skills as a volunteer (while being mindful that this is about standing behind youth leaders), get your friends together to make creative climate protest signs and art to bring to events, or organize your workplace to do a solidarity action together.
- Talk climate with federal election candidates and encourage everyone to vote. Let’s build on this week of actions to demand bold, unprecedented climate commitments from all parties. At climate strike events, remind everyone to make sure they’re registered and to vote on October 21.
Are you ready to link up with actions in your community?
These young leaders are taking matters into their own hands to secure a livable future for themselves. By joining the climate strike we can show them that we adults care about their future also. And it might just feel good too!
All the news lately about wildfires, floods, hurricanes and other worsening climate impacts is hard to take alone. Getting out in the streets with millions of others reminds us that we’re not alone. There’s a massive and growing community of people committed to transforming our economies in a way that works for us all – workers, youth, families, immigrants, Indigenous peoples – everyone.
Sierra Club BC released the following statement from campaigns director Caitlyn Vernon in response to today’s joint federal-provincial announcement about electrification of fracking and LNG:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 29, 2019
“Electrification of fracking and LNG is not effective climate action. It’s the opposite: it locks us into ongoing carbon pollution that will worsen the climate emergency, at a time when we have very few years to rapidly phase out the use of coal, oil and gas.
“Whatever gas is saved by electrifying fracking operations will still be burned when the gas is exported overseas. Today’s announcement has no net benefit for the climate. By facilitating the expansion of fracking, it will make things worse.
“Electrification of fracking keeps us on a path to more frequent extreme weather events, bigger, more destructive wildfires and less reliable supplies of food and clean drinking water.
“Our health and well-being will suffer more. Our children’s future will be further compromised.
“Sierra Club BC supports the provincial government’s CleanBC program. We agree that rapid electrification is at the core of an effective response to the climate crisis, but electrification must transition us away from the use and export of fossil fuels, not lock us into ongoing carbon pollution.
“The 2019 B.C. budget announced $107 million for cleaner transportation, and $58 million for improving the energy efficiency of buildings, creating good jobs in the process. Yet this investment pales in comparison to today’s announcement of $680 million in taxpayer dollars to support the fossil fuel industry whose carbon pollution threatens our health and security.
“Kids around the world have been taking to the streets calling for governments to defend them, their future, and the places they love from the threats posed by the climate emergency. And yet the day after Greta Thunberg arrives in North America on a sailboat, our governments are crushing the hopes of young people by subsidizing oil and gas corporations rather than investing in renewable energy solutions.
“The Amazon is burning. The Arctic is burning. Salmon are dying from the heat.
“We are in a climate emergency. For our children and grandchildren, we must rebuild an energy system based on renewable energy, not fossil fuels.”
Sierra Club BC
Please join Sierra Club BC at our Annual General Meeting in Vancouver.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 23, 2019
Members of the Clayoquot Sound Conservation Alliance (CSCA) are congratulating the Ahousaht and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations for securing a key federal commitment to advance their land-use visions in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia, which will conserve the remaining ecologically-rare old growth forests in this iconic region.
Earlier this week, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna announced that the federal government is committing to partner with the two Nations on land-use visions for their territories. This commitment includes funding through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program and will safeguard the remaining old-growth forests in Clayoquot Sound.
The Ahousaht and Tla-o-qui-aht Nations, along with Nature United, put forward an inspiring and innovative proposal to achieve long term community well-being and ecological integrity in their territories and result in a lasting conservation solution for one of the most iconic rainforest regions of the world. The proposal is part of the Nations’ broader plans for economic, social, and ecological well-being — safeguarding the ecologically intact temperate rainforest valleys of Clayoquot Sound is a key part of that vision.
The members of the Clayoquot Sound Conservation Alliance – Canopy, Friends of Clayoquot Sound, Greenpeace, Sierra Club BC, Stand.earth and Wilderness Committee – fully support the Ahousaht and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations’ visions. The federal announcement is an important step toward making the conservation of Clayoquot Sound’s globally rare old-growth rainforests a reality. We commend the federal government for their commitment to partner with the Ahousaht and Tla-o-qui-aht Nations on this vision for a sustainable future, and encourage all levels of government to fully support Indigenous-led conservation initiatives.
We look forward to hearing more details from both the federal and provincial governments about the scope and scale of their support for this work to safeguard Clayoquot Sound.
For more information, please contact:
Lee-Ann Unger, Corporate Campaigner, Canopy (604) 874-5049
Jeh Custerra, Campaigner, Friends of Clayoquot Sound (250) 725-4218
Eduardo Sousa, Senior Campaigner, Greenpeace Canada (778) 378-9955
Tegan Hansen, Forest Campaigner, Stand.earth (250) 354-3302
Joe Foy, Co-Executive Director, Wilderness Committee (604) 880-2580