In a report issued today, Auditor General Carol Bellringer says the BC government is not adequately managing risks posed by climate change. She finds:
Government has work underway to adapt to climate change, but more needs to be done. Government has not comprehensively assessed the risks posed by climate change, and doesn’t have a plan to move forward. Actions are taking place at the ministry level—notably to build a strong foundation of knowledge and develop tools—but adaptation needs to be better integrated into policies and decision-making processes.
…Adaptation is not just a provincial government issue. Local governments are on the front lines, but we heard that they are challenged to effectively take action. This includes a lack of financial support, reliable data and knowledge, and policies at the provincial level. As well, the provincial government has not yet significantly involved First Nations in provincial action.
Responsibility for the failing grade lies primarily with Christy Clark’s “unregulated growth at-any-cost” crew but John Horgan’s Government has strongly defended multi-billion dollar subsidies to natural gas producers and the Premier seems to have become an ardent LNG cheerleader.
In addition, NDP deep-sixed the laudable PowerBC program — part of its 2017 election platform — in favour of Site C completion and more private power purchases, which include gas and biomass fired generation.
(Three years ago, then Energy Minister Kootenay Bill said the $7.9 billion Site C budget “was final, fully reviewed by specialists and reliable because it included a contingency well above prudent amounts.” Despite Kootenay Bill’s bluster, the budget is now at $10.7 billion and growing.)
Various experts report that Site C will not provide clean energy. One of those is UBC scientist Karen Bakker. Writing about Site C at Desmog Canada, Carol Linnitt reported:
[Professor Bakker] who oversaw the new greenhouse gas analysis, is one of several scholars who recently found the Site C project represents the largest amount of significant adverse environmental impacts ever reviewed under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act since its introduction into law.
What we learn from the Auditor General is that Government has an implementation plan but still is not sure what to implement. They have failed to describe how BC will meet existing GHG reduction goals and, instead, are working to increase emissions.
This wholly inadequate response renders questionable the Government’s true opposition to Kinder Morgan’s plans for Vancouver to be a major bitumen export centre.