Delegates vote on resolutions at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention. (UBCM)

B.C.’s local politicians vote to keep fossil fuel efforts local

UBCM endorses electric cars, not writing to oil companies

Writing letters to demand compensation from Russian energy giant Gazprom isn’t the best way to adapt to a changing climate in B.C.

That was the majority view of delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention Friday, as they passed judgment on a series of climate-related resolutions from communities around the province.

A Victoria motion for the UBCM to write to 20 international fossil fuel companies was narrowly defeated, after a brief debate over human influence on climate change.

Highlands Mayor Ken Williams argued that it’s not fair for B.C. residents to pay a carbon tax while Gazprom and other oil and gas companies don’t help pay for the effects of rising temperatures and sea levels.

Rob Fraser, mayor of Taylor, said oil and gas is the industry that pays for schools and hospitals in his northeast B.C. region, and fossil fuels power much of the economy.

“Who’s next?,” Taylor asked. “Is it the transportation industry? Is it the agriculture industry?”

North Cowichan Coun. Al Siebring renewed his annual argument that these kinds of international gestures erode the credibility of the UBCM in areas where they have real influence with the B.C. government.

A Richmond resolution to increase the low-carbon component of gasoline to 20 per cent was also defeated. Metchosin Mayor John Ranns called it “short-sighted to see a whole bunch of agricultural land converted to produce fuel” as has been done with corn ethanol in the U.S.

RELATED: B.C. increases electric vehicle incentives

Delegates endorsed a Port Moody resolution to call on the province to “take the lead in North America” and expand its electric vehicle subsidies, and another Richmond motion to increase requirements for zero emission vehicles.


@tomfletcherbc
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