Recent Chair Correspondence on the Climate Change Emergency
On March 13 of this year, the Islands Trust Council declared a climate change emergency.
In recent correspondence on this topic, the Chair of the Islands Trust Council, describes how Trust Council is deeply concerned over the future health of the lands and waters of the Trust Area, a region already under stress and especially vulnerable to climate change. He also described that the organization is committed to fully implementing its statutory land use authority in support of the recent declaration.
What follows is a quick update from the Chair of the Islands Trust on recent correspondence on the climate change emergency.
On May 27, the Chair wrote to the First Nations whose territories comprise the Trust Area, informing them of the climate emergency declaration and expressing a desire to work with the individual First Nations in partnership. In his letter, the Chair mentioned that the BC Assembly of First Nations has already recognized that the breakdown of the stable climate and sea level under which human civilization developed constitutes a climate emergency.
On May 30, the Chair wrote to the boards of directors of the seven regional districts in the Trust Area, also informing them of the climate emergency declaration and asserting Trust Council’s full support for regional district declarations of a climate emergency.
On May 28, the Chair wrote to the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, expressing support for the Nationally Determined Contribution target made in the Paris Agreement. The Islands Trust also called upon the federal government to provide additional support to local governments to accomplish this important work. In particular, the Islands Trust Chair expressed that there is a need for funding that supports mitigation measures for rural communities, which have different needs than cities.
On May 30, the Chair wrote to the Honourable George Heyman, provincial Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, expressing the willingness of Islands Trust to assist the Province in closing the 25% emissions gap in the CleanBC Plan. Recognizing that meeting these targets is a matter of urgency, the Islands Trust Council also called on the Province to provide additional support to local governments necessary for them to assist with this important work.