The federal government has made some great strides for climate action with Bill C-12, particularly in recognizing that it takes both the reduction of emissions and the protection of forest sinks to solve climate impacts. These are the two sides of the carbon equation that both need to be tackled.
Fifty per cent of B.C.’s emissions come from poor logging practices, and the resulting slash burns, and wildfires with their huge releases of carbon — more than all other sectors. Wildfires occur primarily in recent clearcuts and new plantations where soil moisture has been lost so they are exacerbated by poor management. Bioenergy is not the answer; it is an industry-led carbon accounting fiction that is no longer scientifically supportable. The new Bill C-12 goes some way towards what are called nature-based solutions, so we need to support and strengthen aspects of this bill.
Indigenous communities should be fully supported for their stewardship, conservation and restoration of lands that have been exploited through polluter (resource corporation) pay principles.
Local communities should fund the protection of natural forests for carbon sequestration, biodiversity, reconciliation, water quality and societal health through polluter/developer pay principles like they do in New Zealand
Bill C-12 doesn’t have a 2025 target. Politicians must be accountable for reducing emissions in the crucial next five years.
The federal government needs to listen to ecological expertise to make plans, set targets and evaluate progress through ongoing impact reports.
The bill must require the federal government to work with provinces, industry and Indigenous peoples to develop and implement plans to achieve their emission targets.
Salt Spring Island