Environment Minister Mary Polak has issued the following statement on Earth Day:
“Earth Day is a time to not only reflect on and appreciate British Columbia’s natural splendour, but to also consider the role we want our province to take in the global climate challenge.
“British Columbia has a deserved reputation as a climate action leader. Our revenue-neutral carbon tax and our status as a carbon-neutral government are just two of our well-documented climate achievements. In terms of government action, those accomplishments were ground breaking and have since been emulated by other jurisdictions. But, though only less than a decade old, they were also conceived in a different time - in a time before the worst economic recession in generations touched the entire world, and in a time before we could imagine how clean natural gas could revolutionize the global fight against climate change.
“We are at a pivotal point in our province’s climate journey. Our government is choosing the path of continued climate leadership and environmental stewardship, but in the context of a strong and growing economy. It is the balance of these two outcomes that defines our societal values - to leave our children with greater economic opportunities than we had, and to leave this magnificent land as clean and pristine as when we found it.
“We believe we can strike this balance. British Columbia’s resource economy provides the foundation for the lifestyles we enjoy. Our leadership in sustainable forestry and mining practices is proving to the world that we can create jobs and generate wealth while ensuring our collective environmental values are not compromised, but in fact are nurtured.
“Our proven track record of climate leadership and our unwavering commitment to sustainable economic growth will also guide the development of B.C.’s liquefied natural gas industry. Climate change is a global issue. By exporting our abundant natural gas, B.C. will supply growing markets with the cleanest burning fossil fuel from the world’s cleanest LNG plants.
“This is the next generation of climate leadership. No question, preserving and protecting our natural environment while creating jobs and growing our economy will be a challenge. It is a challenge we will not shy away from, but rather one we will embrace. Our children deserve nothing less.”
Ministry of Environment