[VANCOUVER, BC – March 3, 2016] – Today in Vancouver the Prime Minister and Provincial First Ministers agreed to a framework for Canada’s plan to tackle the climate crisis. The plan is to be finalized by October of this year and promised engagement with the Canadian public and Indigenous Peoples.

“While it’s disappointing that they will keep the Harper Government’s target of reducing carbon pollution by 30% from 2005 carbon pollution levels by 2030, it’s encouraging they have committed to increase the level of ambition over time to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement, which acknowledges we need to keep global warming below 1.5 degree Celsius by the end of this century,” said Montana Burgess, Community Organizer with the West Kootenay EcoSociety. “We need real public engagement on the climate plan through town hall-type meetings. If enough of us stand together, the government will have to be more ambitious in carbon pollution reduction plans.”

The declaration mapped out working groups to further develop policies on clean technology, innovation and jobs; carbon pricing mechanisms; specific mitigation opportunities; and adaptation and climate resilience. No specific federal carbon pricing system was listed in the declaration.   

Indigenous Peoples were not included in the First Ministers’ meeting, but the Prime Minister promised they would be consulted over the next six months as the framework is developed and implemented.

“It’s critical that First Nations and Indigenous Peoples are consulted in a meaningful way on the climate plan,” said Burgess.

While the declaration lacks details around implementation, the meeting itself is a major moment in Canadian history, where provinces, territories, and the federal government have all pledged to work together on taking action to stop the climate crisis.

“I stood with the people of Vancouver today at the People’s Assembly, outside the First Ministers’ climate meeting,” said Burgess. “Across this country people are committed like never before to hold our governments accountable to keep fossil fuels in the ground and transition to a 100% renewable energy future. While we keep the pressure on BC and the federal government to deliver an ambitious climate plan, we need to work in our communities with our municipalities and regional districts to lead the way in renewable energy solutions.”

Contact Information

Montana Burgess, Community Organizer     
West Kootenay EcoSociety
(m) 250-509-0184