British Columbia

B.C. premier signs new climate agreement with U.S. governors

B.C.'s premier and governors from the western United States have signed a memorandum agreement on climate approaches for the Pacific region.

Memorandum of understanding includes commitment to support transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient future

John Horgan gestures at a podium. He is a white man with a white moustache.
Premier John Horgan pictured during an announcement in Langford, B.C., on Sept. 7. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

B.C.'s premier and governors from the western United States have signed a memorandum agreement on climate approaches for the Pacific region.

B.C. Premier John Horgan, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Gavin Newsom inked the deal Thursday at the Presidio of San Francisco park.

During a news conference, Horgan said B.C. and the U.S. West Coast states are facing similar climate-related issues and the jurisdictions need to find ways to work together.

"We've had fires that have been unprecedented. A community called Lytton in my province no longer exists because of wildfires. We had an atmospheric river, heat domes — terms that we'd never heard of before that have had a profound impact on our people, on our economy and our way of life," Horgan said.

"In order to address those challenges, we have to collaborate."

The new statement of co-operation included commitments to support the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient future — "emphasizing investments in overburdened communities" — and to better protect communities from fire, flooding and heat waves.

The agreement also includes a pledge to invest in climate infrastructure, like charging stations for electric vehicles across the region.

B.C., Washington, Oregon and California are part of the Pacific Coast Collaborative, which was formed almost 15 years ago. It previously discussed high-speed rail connections, including a line between B.C. and Washington, but more recently turned its focus to climate change and its consequences to the region.

The collaborative has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at least 80 per cent by 2050, according to a statement from the province.

With files from The Canadian Press

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