The province of British Columbia has created a new advisory council to provide strategic advice to the government on climate action paired with economic growth, and has appointed Lee Loftus, ACW Collaborating Researcher and project Steering Committee member, to the council.
Environment Minister George Heyman said the council will be charged with developing a new climate strategy for the province while balancing BC’s economic needs. He further announced that he will introduce legislation next spring that mandates the government to cut emissions by 40 per cent over the next 13 years.
“The reason we’ve put together this advisory council today is to help us work through the issues of how we balance reductions across industry, across buildings and homes, and across transportation in order to meet those targets,” he told Global News.
Loftus is a supporter of reducing GHG emissions through improved construction practices. As Business Agent of the BC Insulators union, he has long advocated for improved training and construction methods to help combat climate change.
A recent report published by ACW, called “Promoting Climate Literacy in British Columbia’s Apprenticeship System: Evaluating One’s Union Efforts to Overcome Attitudinal Barriers to Low Carbon Construction,” documented Loftus’ efforts.
“I’m trying to instill that pride back into people; this really is a skill set, this is really something you can be proud of. Because what you’re doing doesn’t just give you a pay check, it actually provides an advantage to the community and an advantage to the environment,” Loftus told researchers Corinne Tallon and John Calvert.
Industry representatives on the council include Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers past president and CEO Dave Collyer. The co-chairs of the council are Clean Energy Canada executive director Merran Smith and Teck Resources Limited sustainability and external affairs senior vice-president Marcia Smith.
The council will hold its initial meeting soon, followed by quarterly meetings where advice and feedback on climate policy will be forwarded to the environment and climate change strategy minister and the climate action secretariat on a regular basis, according to a government statement.