The District of Sooke is joining forces with other Vancouver Island municipalities to send what it calls a climate accountability letter to 20 of the world’s largest fossil fuel producers.
Sooke councillors approved sending the letter, which asks companies, including Exxon, Chevron and Shell, to pay their share of the district’s climate costs. Colwood, Victoria, Saanich, Highlands and View Royal have written similar letters.
More than 55 British Columbia-based legal and environmental groups are urging local governments to send climate accountability letters to the fossil fuel industry.
Organizations such as West Coast Environmental Law have also asked municipalities to consider a lawsuit against oil companies for a portion of local climate costs, similar to those filed recently by California municipalities, including San Francisco and Oakland.
“The best way to start the conversation is to challenge the assumption that taxpayers must pay the full cost [0f climate change],” said Roland Alcock, a spokesperson for the Dogwood Initiative, in a presentation to Sooke council.
“Each community needs to send an official climate accountability letter to each of these fuel companies, which discusses specific harms endemic to that community firmly and publicly states that we expect them to accept responsibility and state that we expect them to pay their share of the costs.”