Environmental lawyer meets northern B.C. politicians to discuss climate change
West Coast Environmental Law has received mixed response to its proposal that communities across B.C. identify and plan for the costs of climate change
WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C.—A lawyer specializing in environmental issues is meeting with politicians from across northern and central British Columbia to discuss the costs of climate change.
Andrew Gage, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law, is in Williams Lake to attend the meeting of the North Central Local Government Association, which represents elected officials across the region.
A statement from West Coast Environmental Law says Gage wants to hear firsthand about how wildfires and other climate-related impacts have affected northern communities, and how local communities are handling those costs.
The environment group has received mixed response to its proposal that communities across B.C. identify and plan for the costs of climate change, and to try to recover some of those costs from fossil fuel companies.
It says the North Coast Regional District sent a letter to 20 fossil fuel companies asking them to share some of the region’s climate costs, but the City of Fort St. John wants the local government association to declare such letters “inappropriate.”
Gage says the question of costs is key because northern B.C. has experienced more warming than other parts of Canada, faces a mountain pine beetle epidemic and has endured several seasons of severe wildfires.
“I’m looking forward to hearing firsthand how local governments are dealing with these realities, how they are preparing for future climate impacts, and who they think should pay for those costs,” Gage says in the statement.
“If fossil fuel companies make huge profits from selling products they knew decades ago would contribute to wildfires, then we think they should help the communities that suffer harm as a result.”