Climate Adaptation and BC’s Low Carbon Economy

It is imperative that we significantly reduce our ecological footprint and move to a low carbon, resilient economy.

ACT’s Energy report on the Low Carbon Economy in BC was authored by Bruce Sampson, former VP Sustainability, BC Hydro; Chair, International Centre for Sustainable Cities BC, with co-author and ACT research assistant, Linsay Martens.

We are currently exceeding the carrying capacity of the Earth and degrading the ecosystems we rely upon for life. We are running a substantial ecological deficit.

This report seeks to encourage dialogue about three major challenges that must be addressed if we are to pass on a sustainable world to our children: the ENERGY challenge – our heavy reliance on oil will present significant challenges now that the era of cheap and easy oil has passed; the CLIMATE CHANGE challenge – the abundance of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, which we have pumped into the atmosphere, are changing our climate and threatening to destabilize the delicate balance that makes life on Earth possible; and the ECOSYSTEM challenge – the majority of the ecosystem services that nature provides are not currently being used in a sustainable manner. For convenience, we routinely refer to these three challenges collectively as the sustainability challenge throughout this report, with the acknowledgement that sustainability as a concept can include a far more complex set of issues, including social justice.

The preponderance of scientific data overwhelmingly points to significant human influence on climate change. Regardless of individual beliefs on climate change, there is an urgent need to address the broader sustainability challenge. Moreover, it is clear that many of the ecosystems that support life on earth are facing significant stress. Therefore, we believe that addressing the sustainability challenge makes sense regardless of one’s views on climate change and its origins.

The answer to the sustainability challenge is clear: it is imperative that we significantly reduce our ecological footprint and move to a resilient, low-carbon economy.

Summary for Decision-makers

Climate Change Adaptation and the Low Carbon Economy in BC

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