VICTORIA, B.C. - Dr. Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, and George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, have received Canada’s 2020 Clean50 and Clean16 honours for demonstrated leadership in sustainability through the development of CleanBC.
“Over the last two years, my team and I have been working with Minister Heyman to design CleanBC, our economic plan to build a thriving, climate-resilient society. It has been the hallmark of our minority government and will continue to be my top priority as we ensure it is fully implemented to reach our 2030 targets,” said MLA Weaver. “CleanBC is an important starting point and our ambitions must continue to rise. It is time we reimagined the climate crisis not solely as an environmental problem, but an incredible opportunity for innovation and the advancement of our society.
“For CleanBC to be effective, government must implement the first phase of emissions reductions and quickly identify how they will fill in the remaining 25%. And, it must be matched with legislated, ambitious accountability and transparency mechanisms. ‘Trust us’ is not good climate policy. That’s why I have been working with Minister Heyman on the Climate Change Accountability Amendment Act, to be tabled this fall. It will provide an evidence-based foundation to the work done by this government and all to come.
“More than 100,000 British Columbians - many of them children- participated in last week’s global climate strike to shame world leaders for their inaction and demand better. We need to prove that we hear them. We need to prove that their BC government cares about protecting their future.
“Receiving this recognition is more than a personal achievement; it represents something much greater than one climate scientist’s life’s work. Hanging in the B.C. Green office in the legislature is a framed official report from February 17, 2014, that documents an amendment I brought forward to the Throne Speech debate. It reads, ‘...that the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia recognizes that climate change is one of the greatest issues facing our province and that this government’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is inconsistent with the current expansion of United States sourced thermal coal exports coming through British Columbia harbours, and therefore calls upon government to follow the lead of our Pacific Coast Action Plan Partners, Washington, Oregon, and California, and explore all means by which the government may halt the expansion of thermal coal exports in British Columbia.’ The amendment failed with 73 nays that day; I was the only yea.
“Today, that political conversation has changed. That photo is now historical record, but it is no longer our future. Climate change is now a top concern of all British Columbians, and indeed all Canadians, and this minority government is listening and acting.”
Minister Heyman says their collaboration is evidence of what political leaders can accomplish when they work together.
“The important collaborative work to develop the real and measurable CleanBC climate and economic plan - between Dr. Weaver and me and our two parties - is a clear demonstration that legislators can work together to address critical issues and to respond to the urgency expressed by young people around the world demanding that we act to secure a safer future,” Minister Heyman said.
The Clean50 awards are presented every year by Delta Management Group, an executive search firm for professionals working in the environmental sector. Previous Clean16 award winners include Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO of Vancity, Craig Ryan, director of Social Entrepreneurship at Business Development Bank of Canada, and Matt Jamieson, president and CEO of Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, among many others.
Announced annually by Delta Management Group and the Clean50 organization, Canada’s Clean50 Awards recognize those 50 individuals or small teams, from 16 different categories, who have done the most to advance the cause of sustainability and clean capitalism in Canada over the past two years. The top recipients in each category compose the annual Clean16.
“The 2020 Clean16 are truly leaders in sustainability in Canada. Both Minister Heyman and Dr. Weaver have made significant contributions through CleanBC by working collaboratively to help make B.C. and Canada a better place,” said Gavin Pitchford, CEO of Delta Management Group. “Canada’s Clean16 awards recognize these achievements to support a low-carbon future that creates new clean growth opportunities and benefits people. The competition for the top spot this year in every instance left us with many great choices - and to be selected from amongst such a strong group of peers is truly a testament to the contribution Dr. Weaver has made to helping make Canada more sustainable for all Canadians.”
CleanBC is a pathway to a more affordable, safe and sustainable future. CleanBC was developed in collaboration with the BC NDP government and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.
Macon L.C. McGinley | Press Secretary
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