VICTORIA, B.C - This week we saw Emergency and Disaster Management legislation introduced in the house. It’s a meaningful step towards building climate resilience yet requires a workforce to make this happen at the urgent scale needed.
"Young people province-wide are struggling to find purposeful, well-paying jobs, while communities grapple with climate crises," said Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens, and MLA for Cowichan Valley. "A provincially funded Youth Climate Corps would provide a living wage for youth while enhancing climate action and resiliency in B.C."
This initiative could drive the essential climate adaptation and mitigation efforts outlined in the new Emergency Management legislation while cultivating the next generation of climate leaders.
“Last month in the United States, President Biden established an American Climate Corps. It’s great to see government leadership on this,” continued Furstenau. “American Climate Corps is a huge win for young people in America and the country at large. Investing in this program shows what can be done here in British Columbia.”
Since 2020, Youth Climate Corps programs have successfully operated in six B.C. communities, all without provincial funding. Projects include:
- Wildfire risk reduction
- Regional food security
- Ecosystem restoration
- Community engagement and education
“We're dealing with non-stop climate issues and recurrent failures in current strategies. Youth Climate Corps provides a real pathway to climate action, and fair compensation and opportunities for our young people. Local governments often bear the financial brunt of climate crisis management, and having a Youth Climate Corps substantively backed by provincial funds could be a game-changer for B.C., it would help us build a more resilient future by putting our youth and communities first.
“We're calling on the B.C. NDP to step up and put some serious investment into our province and our children’s future.”
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | [email protected]