We stand on the brink of a global climate and biodiversity catastrophe – and of amazing possibilities for human wellbeing and the regeneration of nature if we work together to do what’s needed to avoid the catastrophe. The West Coast Climate Action Network is a cohesive network of climate action groups, organizations, businesses and initiatives in British Columbia who share a deep desire to see more urgent action from our local, provincial and federal governments. Inclusion, consensus and diversity of perspective are essential in everything we do. We raise our hands, welcoming friends and allies. We stand with the overwhelming consensus among the world’s climate scientists, which is that we face a climate emergency of a disastrously destructive nature. We heed the IPCC’s call for net zero emissions globally by 2050, but we also heed those who say this is too slow, that we need a 60% reduction in our climate pollution by 2030, requiring an annual 7% reduction in our climate pollution.
If we DO act in time, we can look forward to a future in which:
- BC’s forests and all other ecosystems are protected and restored.
- Workers and communities enjoy good, long-term jobs within thriving communities.
- Indigenous People’s rights, Title and governance are respected and honoured.
- Our towns and cities are green, livable, and transit, pedestrian, wheelchair and bike friendly.
- Most pollution has ceased to exist.
- We have developed a green circular economy that operates in harmony with nature.
The tension between these possibilities tears at our souls. It drives us to seek more rapid action to tackle the emergency, which grows more immediate with each forest fire, heat wave, flood, storm and drought.
We agree with Catherine Abreu, past Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada:
“Working on climate change is not a fight: it is an act of love. (…) We do it because we see the injustice and inequity and colonial ideology that both drives and is exacerbated by climate change, and we have to believe in a world liberated from these institutions of violence. We fight because we have to protect what we love.”
- We understand the strength that diversity brings, and the importance of building a diverse, all-inclusive climate movement.
- We seek to include and uplift those who bring a diversity of racial and ethnic identity, gender, age, religion, culture, experience, ability, and sexual orientation.
- We seek to include those who have been historically under-represented in the climate movement and those who have suffered historic injustices, including Indigenous Peoples, People of Color, low-income families, and other historically marginalized groups.
Indigenous Engagement Statement
- We strive to engage with Indigenous Peoples as we develop a strong and unified force for more effective and urgent climate action in the land known as British Columbia.
- We listen to Indigenous voices and respect traditional knowledge and wisdom. We are committed to decolonization and the dismantling of colonial structures.
- We heed the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
- We see our movement as inseparable from the movements for racial, social, and economic justice. We will work with these movements to grow our collective power and build the world we need.
- We uphold the principles and standards articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) for the establishment and maintenance of a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well-being and rights of Indigenous Peoples, which includes the right of Indigenous Nations to participate with free, prior and informed consent in all decisions that concern their wellbeing on their traditional lands.
- We recognize the right of Indigenous Nations to assert and implement their aboriginal title, rights, treaty rights and right of self-determination and sovereignty as peoples within their traditional territories.
- We recognize that true reconciliation is about respecting each other’s worldviews and authorities, and working together as equals.
- We aspire to create this climate action network as a welcoming and respectful gathering place for Indigenous climate leaders who are working on similar issues. We aim to come together to build and exchange knowledge and experiences to guide us into the future.
- To this end:
- We have reserved two seats on our Board of Directors for people who bring an Indigenous perspective. The other seats on the Board and all positions on our Working Teams are open to everyone.
- We are seeking individuals who bring an Indigenous perspective to join our Advisory Panel.
- We are developing an inventory of Indigenous climate action initiatives in BC.
- We are engaging with The RAVEN to present a webinar series on Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Action in BC.
- We work to unite the multitude of groups, organizations and initiatives in British Columbia whose members share a deep concern about the global climate emergency, and who wish to see more urgent, rapid action.
- We work to serve, support, amplify and promote their work, and to take whatever further actions we deem necessary to end the global climate emergency.
- We envision the land now known as British Columbia becoming a global leader in the effort to end the climate and biodiversity emergencies.
- We envision a successful transition to 100% renewable energy, an end to all fossil fuel production and use, the restoration of damaged ecosystems, a respectful relationship with Indigenous Peoples, a society based on social and racial justice, and an economy that respects nature, workers, businesses and investors.
- We envision British Columbians working together to build a positive, socially just, ecologically sustainable future.