Today was the deadline for responses to the BC Government’s Climate Leadership Plan. The VEC are pleased to provide its response to this vital initiative below, but to summarise, our key recommended strategies are as follows:
1. Support for fast-growing, newly emerging sectors like social innovation, clean technology and green economy businesses;
2. Facilitation of market transformation and the adoption of new technologies;
3. Strengthening of collaboration between the Province and local governments; and
4. Leveraging of B.C.’s climate leadership to build a brand and to advocate at the national and international levels
With COP21 in Paris coming up at the end of the year, we are pleased that the Province are looking to update their 2008 Climate Action Plan.
We look forward to engaging with the Province further on this initiative, and to share the experience we have gained in helping to green Vancouver’s economy.
The VEC’s Response
The Honourable Mary Polak
Climate Leadership Discussion Paper
Ministry of Environment, Climate Action Secretariat
PO Box 9486, Stn Prov Gov
Victoria, BC V8W 9W6
Dear Minister Polak,
Re: British Columbia’s Climate Leadership Plan
As the economic development agency for the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Economic Commission knows that there is a strong and clear business case for climate action. Vancouver is fast becoming a global model for how to grow an economy while reducing carbon emissions, and is taking steps to capitalize even further on the enormous shifts taking place in the energy marketplace, recently setting a goal of becoming “100 percent renewable” by 2050.
We know current clean energy trends mean economic opportunity. There are already more clean energy jobs in Canada than in oil and gas, and by 2030, 73 percent of all global energy investment – $630 billion per year – will be in clean energy. Other government leaders know this too. G7 leaders recently agreed to phase out fossil fuels by the end of the century, and leaders from our own province signed an MOU with China to promote clean tech solutions in their country, as they aim to lower the carbon intensity of their GDP by 60 percent by 2020.
The B.C. Ministry of Environment and the Climate Leadership Team have also taken action, reinvigorating B.C.’s Climate Action Plan and moving B.C. towards meeting science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets. Combined with the right economic incentives and multilateral collaboration, these actions will ensure sustainable profits and employment into the future. Based on our experience leveraging Green Economic development, we recommend that B.C.’s new Climate Action Plan include the following:
- Support for fast-growing, newly emerging sectors like social innovation, clean technology and green economy businesses;
- Facilitation of market transformation and the adoption of new technologies;
- Strengthening of collaboration between the Province and local governments; and
- Leveraging of B.C.’s climate leadership to build a brand and to advocate at the national and international levels
We have attached specific strategies for how the B.C. MoE and the Climate Leadership Team might achieve these objectives, based on our experience systematically implementing “green” approaches to economic development since 2008. We have data and experience to demonstrate that innovation, efficiency, and conservation in the use and reuse of all natural and human resources are successfully increasing jobs, incomes, productivity, and competitiveness. By implementing Green Economic development strategies based on technological innovation and resource efficiency, B.C. can grow local economies, improve standards of living and enhance our natural environment. It can also build a competitive, diversified and resilient economy for many generations to come.
CEO, Vancouver Economic Commission
Ms. Susanna Laaksonen-Craig, Head, Climate Action Secretariat
Dr. James Tansey, Climate Leadership Team
Mr. Matt Horne, Climate Leadership Team
Ms. Merran Smith, Climate Leadership Team