The BC government is considering how it should address climate change, and there is an opportunity for input until March 25, 2016 at noon.

Climate change is already affecting Indigenous peoples. Being close to the land means feeling the effects of changes to water levels, fires, animal populations declining and new species arriving – among other things.

Often these changes make it harder to exercise Aboriginal rights.  Indeed the historic failure of governments to tackle climate change, while allowing industrial activities that accelerate it, could constitute an infringement of Aboriginal rights.

The BC government’s “Consultation Guide” mirrors much of its earlier Discussion Paper. How BC will address proposed oil pipelines? How will BC meet its climate change emissions targets if LNG exports proceed? If even just two of the proposed LNG terminals go online, BC’s targets will be exceeded.

Many First Nations are already being affected by oil and gas wells, pipelines and processing and export facilities – and more is yet to come. How will rights be protected?

These are some of the issues that First Nations may want to raise in this process. Providing input now will help First Nations build a record of engagement, and can help to engage their communities on the issue of climate change.

Firelight provides policy, governance, regulatory and EA support – including assistance on developing input to public policy consultations in BC and elsewhere. 

For further information, contact:

David Thompson, Lead: Policy, Planning and Governance

Alistair MacDonald, Lead: Environmental Assessment Support