reacts to B.C. budget 

February 22, 2024
Spending includes investments in disaster response, but fails to sufficiently address root causes of the climate crisis

xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories (VANCOUVER, B.C.) – The British Columbia government unveiled a provincial budget today that outlines billions in new spending on housing and health care, but failed to make significant new investments in climate solutions and forest protection.

Coming on the heels of B.C.’s worst wildfire season on record and amidst ongoing drought conditions across the province, the final budget of the NDP’s four-year term signaled that the government is prepared to invest in responding to the impacts of climate change, but is not yet taking action to stop big polluters from putting our future at risk.

“Last year, many of us watched in horror while communities from Kelowna to the Shuswap went up in flames,” said Liz McDowell, Senior Campaigns Director at “As we head into another drought year, the B.C. government should be doing everything in its power to pair increased climate emergency response with deep investments to address the root causes of climate change, so that we don’t have to respond to increasingly apocalyptic wildfire seasons year after year. While we welcome more heat pump rebates for climate-resilient housing along with new investments in EV charging, today’s budget is lacking the ambition needed to meet the scale of the challenge.”   

Recent polling found that an overwhelming majority of people in B.C.want to see more investments in renewable energy and expansion of a clean electricity grid, and want the provincial government to act quickly on climate change.

“Today’s budget still contains significant fossil fuel subsidies, including allowing fracking companies to deduct the cost of drilling new wells from the royalties they pay into the provincial coffers,” said Sven Biggs, Canadian Oil and Gas Program Director at “I am glad to see that this budget includes new funds to better protect B.C.’s communities from impacts like wildfires and droughts, but when it comes to climate change, the old adage ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ could not be more true.”

Last year was another record-breaking year for wildfires, with reports from September 2023 that B.C. spent nearly $1 billion on its fire response against a budget of $204 million. While in 2024 B.C. is allocating more funds to address the impacts of climate change, there is still significant room for improvement to address factors like forest destruction, which exposes communities to worsening disasters like floods, slides, and megafires.

Old forests are one of our best defences from devastating climate impacts, but the province still isn’t prioritizing emergency funds to keep them standing,” said Tegan Hansen, Senior Forest Campaigner at “The B.C. NDP needs to prove that it’s serious about preventing catastrophic slides, floods, and megafires by allocating funds to keep forests standing now, instead of just paying more every year for the consequences of destructive logging practices.”

As this government heads into an election, it continues to state that it understands climate change is a serious problem. However the B.C. NDP have not yet made the kind of generational investments necessary to address the full scope of the crisis or committed themselves to standing up to the big polluters that are the root cause.


Media contacts:
Liz McDowell, Senior Campaigns Director: (Pacific Time)
Sven Biggs, Canadian Oil and Gas Program Director: (Pacific Time)
Tegan Hansen, Senior Forest Campaigner: (Pacific Time)
Kathryn Semogas, Canada Communications Specialist: (Eastern Time)