Sierra Club BC takes province to court over emissions targets

An environmental group is taking the B.C. government to court Tuesday, arguing the province isn’t being clear enough about how it intends to meet emission reduction targets.

The Sierra Club BC says the province isn’t telling people enough about progress toward meeting lowered emissions targets by industry.

Speaking on behalf of the Sierra Club in B.C. Supreme Court, Tuesday and Wednesday, Ecojustice says the public is missing critical pieces of information about how the province is working toward its goals and they say the government is required to provide it.

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“The result of that is that the public is left completely in the dark as to if and how it’s going to meet these targets and so is unable to hold them to account in the way that the law intended,” President Alan Andrews told CityNews.

Andrews says this issue is among the most critical for residents of B.C. right now.

“We’ve had yet another season of weird and highly damaging weather,” he said. “We’re experiencing record temperatures in October — I can smell the wildfire smoke in my nostrils as we talk. This is absolutely a critical case, at a critical time.”

The club argues the government hasn’t been clear enough in their annual reports about how the province will meet those legislated targets, and that’s why they’re suing.

“It basically ignores all but one of its climate targets. It focuses exclusively on the 2030 target, it doesn’t lay out a plan for achieving [the] targets for 2040 and 2050,” he explained.

In a statement, the Conservation Officer Service says B.C. has the most durable climate measures in all of Canada, and data is being used in those reports to help guide progress toward those goals.

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