Opinion Editorial: Mayor Lori Ackerman Calls for Collaborative Approach in Discussion with Key Climate Litigation Advocate

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Today, I and other local officials of the Resource Municipalities Coalition sat down with Andrew Gage at the North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA) convention to discuss how local governments should deal with the issue of climate change. Mr. Gage is leading the “climate liability” campaign at the West Coast Environmental Law Center and calling for local governments to sue energy companies for climate-related damages.

Unfortunately, discussion about how best to deal with climate change has become incredibly divisive. I am, however, encouraged that people are starting to come together to have serious discussions about how best to deal with the issue.

Despite our difference in opinion regarding the climate liability campaign, I am happy to have had the opportunity to talk to Andrew Gage today. I still believe this campaign is an inappropriate direction for BC communities that would further divide our country and province – ultimately blocking meaningful action to decarbonize our cities. Instead, I believe local government and senior government officials should find ways to collaborate with energy companies to continue to drive innovations that will lower emissions, not sue them.

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The City of Fort St John submitted a resolution to the NCLGA AGM and Convention, currently occurring, calling these lawsuits “inappropriate” and instead envisions local communities working collaboratively with energy companies toward decarbonization.

Mayor Lori Ackerman
City of Fort St. John

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