2010-02-01

BC energy policy--green or greenwashing?

It’s not easy being green, as the saying goes, and nowhere more so than here in British Columbia. After all, our province has an established reputation as an incubator for social and political change: BC is the birthplace of Greenpeace, the front line in the “war in the woods,” and the arena where environmentalists, First Nations, government, and business came together to create the Great Bear Rain Forest.

It is also the place where climate change has generated a massive mountain pine beetle infestation that is destroying the boreal forest, and where the provincial government is accelerating construction of run-of-river private power projects while encouraging expanded oil and gas development.

There is no question that genuine green solutions are urgently needed in BC’s energy sector—aggressive conservation programs, realistic forecasting of our domestic energy requirements, and research and development of renewable energy projects. But what has emerged, instead, through BC’s energy policy and the private power industry, is a growing body of evidence of “greenwashing.”