news.nationalgeographic.com; by Stacey Schultz; British Columbians are feeling a little lonely in their bid to save the planet.
Five years ago, the Canadian province enacted a bold set of climate change policies designed to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions dramatically. At the time, B.C. lawmakers assumed the United States would follow suit with federal climate change policy. To the south and east, a coalition of seven U.S. states and four Canadian provinces were establishing the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), with a regional carbon cap-and-trade system.
The home of the Spirit Bear, which already has more land conservation area than any other Canadian province, was leading the way in protecting the atmosphere.
Then, U.S. progress on federal climate policy skidded to a halt. And the WCI began to falter. Six states withdrew last November, leaving just California and four Canadian provinces still participating. With its general election one year away, the government of British Columbia, headed by the Liberal Party (known to be more conservative than its rival, the New Democratic Party), is now questioning the future of the climate initiatives it enacted.