Government extends deadline to comment on climate action plan

Those interested in having input into B.C.’s new climate action plan now have a bit more time to do so

Those interested in having input into B.C.’s new climate action plan now have a bit more time to do so, with the provincial government having extended its deadline for public consultation.

The government announced last week the deadline for written submissions from B.C. residents about their vision for its Climate Leadership Plan is now September 14th, 2015.

Local Groundswell Network Society executive director Bill Swan said that in general terms, he’s quite pleased with the idea of such a plan.

“I’m strongly in favour of a climate action plan. Parts of B.C’s climate action so far have been really significant, in terms of the showing leadership in climate action. In particular, the carbon tax has been an example of something done here in B.C. that has generated a lot of interest, not just across the rest of Canada, but also internationally as well. Many jurisdictions want to, or are, copying it, ” said Mr. Swan. “Of course, anytime you mention carbon tax there’s bound to be some negative attention, but if you go into the literature, you’ll actually find a lot of hard research showing its positive benefits.”

Mr. Swan said government leadership, be it municipal, provincial or federal, is needed (in a variety of forms, including carbon taxes and climate action plans), but community and individual buy-in to climate action is also necessary.

“It’s imperative that we address this,” he said. “I strongly believe climate change is the leading issue of the day.”

The government press release announcing the new deadline for written submissions came in response to requests from many groups, who wanted additional time to prepare more comprehensive submissions.

An initial 30-day public consultation was launched last month.

“As we pass the half way point of the public engagement period, we’re seeing significant interest from British Columbians about the new Climate Leadership Plan. I encourage everyone to have their say and help shape the future of climate action in B.C.,” said B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak in a press release.

When the consultation began, the government made a discussion  paper and survey are available at engage.gov.bc.ca/climateleadership.

Although the deadline for written submissions has been extended, the deadline for taking the survey remains Monday, August 17th.

“As chair of the Climate Action Team, I look forward to hearing the wide range of views British Columbians have on climate action. Our  team will use this public feedback as we put together recommendations for a strong Climate Leadership Plan,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Energy Literacy and the Environment and MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky Jordan Sturdy in the press release.

B.C. residents will have further opportunities to provide input.

The province plans to release a draft Climate Leadership Plan in December 2015, on which the  public can provide comment on the specific policies and actions  proposed, and then the final Climate Leadership Plan will likely be released by government in March 2016.

To take the survey, review and comment on the Climate Leadership Plan discussion paper, visit engage.gov.bc.ca/climateleadership.

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