Planning for Climate Action in British Columbia, Canada: Putting Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Mitigation on Local Government Agendas
Significant greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions from all sectors of human enterprise are necessary to avoid further effects and reduce the current effects of climate change. Agriculture and the global food system are estimated to contribute to one-third of all anthropogenic GHGs. In British Columbia, Canada, mandated GHG reduction targets and voluntary climate action programs are challenging local governments to include emission reduction targets, policies, and actions within official planning documents. At this early stage of GHG reductions, local government attention does not yet include agriculture but is directed toward the transportation, buildings, and waste management sectors. Given agriculture's contribution to GHG emissions and local government's engagement with GHG mitigation and food system planning, it seems reasonable to anticipate that over time, local governments should and will engage increasingly in reducing GHGs from agriculture. With the goal of advancing agriculture GHG mitigation by local governments, this paper reviews the jurisdictional powers governing agriculture and climate change within British Columbia. It examines how local governments can support mitigation within the sector through their roles in planning, policy, programming, and public engagement, and identifies potential research agenda items.
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