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Province revamps Climate Solutions Council

George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, speaks at the Canadian Bioeconomy Conference and Exhibition in Prince George Friday. Bill Phillips photo
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

A new provincial council will advise government and track progress on CleanBC initiatives to reduce pollution.

Members of the Climate Solutions Council were announced by George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, at GLOBE 2020 – a sustainable business and innovation summit focused on climate action.

The independent council will continue the advisory role of the previous council, which completed its mandate at the end of 2019. The new members represent environmental organizations, businesses (including large industry), Indigenous peoples, local governments, academics, youth, unions and people living in rural and remote communities. The council will advise the province on further actions to reduce carbon pollution, while ensuring that B.C. industry remains competitive. It will provide public comment every year on progress.

It includes members from First Nations, environmental organizations, industry, academic researchers, youth, labour and local government.

Council co-chairs are Merran Smith, executive director, Clean Energy Canada
and Colleen Giroux-Schmidt, vice-president of corporate relations, Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.

Council members:

  • David Black, president, MoveUp
  • Lee Brain, mayor, City of Prince Rupert
  • Ian Bruce, chief operative officer, David Suzuki Foundation
  • Matt Horne, climate policy manager, City of Vancouver
  • Lydia Hwitsum, First Nations Summit Political Executive
  • Mark Jaccard, professor of sustainable energy at the School of
  • Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University
  • Adriana Laurent, co-founder and projects administrator, UBC Climate Hub
  • Skye McConnell, manager of policy and advocacy, Shell Canada
  • Kurt Niquidet, vice-president, BC Council of Forest Industries
  • Nancy Olewiler, professor and director at the School of Public Policy, Simon Fraser University
  • Josie Osborne, mayor, Tofino
  • Danielle (DJ) Pohl, president, Fraser Valley Labour Council
  • Khelsilem, council member, Squamish Nation
  • Tom Syer, head of government affairs, Teck Resources
  • Karen Tam Wu, acting director, Pembina Institute
  • Jill Tipping, president and chief executive officer, BC Tech Association
  • Mark Zacharias, deputy minister, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy – B.C. government (ex-offico member).

The province also released its 2019 Climate Change Accountability Report for CleanBC, which details a range of actions over the past year to reduce emissions and build a cleaner economy.

Results show a range of trends, including record-setting sales of electric vehicles, increases in transit ridership, improvements in energy efficiency and emission intensity, reduced emissions from large industry and lower methane emissions from the natural gas sector. The report provides detailed emission forecasts and breakdowns by sector to help guide future improvements and track progress.

“B.C. has come back as a global climate leader. And while we still have work to do, the Province has laid down the right foundations,” said Merran Smith, co-chair of the Climate Solutions Council, and executive director of Clean Energy Canada, in a news release. “We’re already seeing the benefits, from surging electric car sales to real accountability measures, to a thriving clean energy sector that’s putting B.C. on the clean energy map. As co-chair of this new council, I’m excited to build on that progress.”

To read the full CleanBC Climate Change Accountability Report, visit:

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