Groups Unite to Recommend New Approaches to Clean Electricity in BC
British Columbians are deeply concerned about climate change, and while they support clean electricity to address climate change, many harbour concerns about how clean electricity is currently developed. Watershed Watch worked with the David Suzuki Foundation, Pembina Institute and West Coast Environmental Law to develop these recommendations, which form a blueprint for improving the planning and development of renewable electricity in British Columbia. The recommendations have been endorsed by 23 environmental organizations across the province.
Government energy and climate policies have stimulated a rapid increase in the rate of development of renewable electricity projects, but public support has not kept pace in many cases. Projects have frequently been opposed due to concerns about social, environmental, and economic costs.
The recommendations outline how planning and development can proceed in a way that is more transparent, strategic, and inclusive of and beneficial to all British Columbians — First Nations and the general public alike — and with limited environmental impact.
The groups recommend that British Columbia’s progress on clean electricity policy and development can be dramatically improved by:
- Ensuring that energy conservation and efficiency is the highest priority.
- Making BC’s electricity supply as clean, renewable and low-impact as possible.
- Adopting a renewable electricity planning framework that limits environmental, social, and economic impacts and maximizes public benefit.
- Reforming water licensing, land leasing decisions and governance.
- Strengthening the environmental assessment process, addressing and managing cumulative effects, and improving monitoring and compliance performance.
- Developing an informed consensus about the conditions whereby renewable electricity could be exported from BC, if at all.
Organizations endorsing the Clean Electricity Recommendations:
- BC Spaces for Nature
- BC Sustainable Energy Association
- Cassiar Watch
- David Suzuki Foundation
- Forest Ethics
- Friends of Clayoquot Sound
- Friends of Wild Salmon
- Georgia Straight Alliance
- Living Oceans Society
- Northwest Watch
- Outdoor Recreation Council
- Pacific Wild
- Pembina Institute
- Raincoast Conservation Foundation
- Sierra Club of Canada, BC Chapter
- SkeenaWild Conservation Trust
- Sunshine Coast Conservation Assocation
- T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation
- Watershed Watch Salmon Society
- West Coast Environmental Law
- West Kootenay EcoSociety
- Wilderness Tourism Association