British Columbia Premier John Horgan signed a new climate pact with the governors of Washington, Oregon, and California last week that includes investments in cross-border climate infrastructure like electric vehicle charging stations.
The statement of cooperation also aims to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and to protect communities from climate disasters including droughts, wildfires, and heat waves.
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The four jurisdictions have differing climate agendas but share the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at least 80% by 2050, The Canadian Press reports.
Horgan travelled to San Francisco for the signing just days after Sierra Club B.C. told the B.C. Supreme Court the province had violated its own climate accountability law by failing to report whether its decarbonization plans will be sufficient to meet its 2025, 2040, and 2050 emissions targets. In San Francisco, the B.C. premier highlighted the need for innovative solutions and continually shifting targets.
He said all four jurisdictions are experiencing the same “profound” issues, including devastating wildfires like the one in June 2021 that destroyed the village of Lytton, B.C.
Horgan told a news conference that climate change is a global crisis, but western North America is uniquely positioned to respond because the four jurisdictions share similar goals and are willing to collaborate to meet them. “I’m very proud to stand with these three leaders in this spectacular city to say yes, we have challenges, but we can overcome them,” he said.
“We cannot solve the problems by ourselves,” Horgan added, “but I know together we can at least make some progress.” B.C. and the three U.S. states are part of the Pacific Coast Collaborative grouping, set up almost 15 years ago.
These reports by The Canadian Press were first published October 4 and 6, 2022.