News Release: First Nations Climate Initiative and the Business Council of British Columbia partner to advance B.C.’s low carbon advantage and Indigenous economic opportunities

November 23, 2021

November 23, 2021 (Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories/Vancouver, B.C.) - The First Nations Climate Initiative (FNCI) and the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) have entered into a new partnership agreement aimed at a prosperous and just transition to a decarbonized economy in British Columbia.

The Memorandum of Understanding will facilitate collaboration to advance policy ideas and economic opportunities for low carbon projects and operations in B.C., including the creation of business development opportunities for Indigenous people. Benefits include reductions of greenhouse gases, sustainable economic development for Indigenous communities and people, and a stronger and more innovative British Columbia economy with growing low carbon exports that combined reduce global and domestic climate emissions now and into the future.

Following the COP26 conference in Glasgow, the FNCI and BCBC are advancing actions here at home that will contribute to our collective goals for a net zero future, domestically and beyond our borders.

Combined, British Columbia’s clean electricity, abundance of low carbon commodities and energy, innovative technologies, shared industry and Indigenous leadership, knowledge and expertise are a significant advantage and presents an opportunity to supply the world’s largest and fastest growing markets in Asia. The province and many traditional lands are uniquely positioned to improve the province’s reputation as a proven producer of lower carbon intensive natural resource and energy products and technologies.

Low carbon resource development projects are opportunities to further economic reconciliation and self-determination for many Indigenous communities in British Columbia who wish to be project partners and project owners. FNCI has developed a blueprint and accompanying policy framework that demonstrates the transition to a decarbonized economy that includes building the renewable power generation and transmission infrastructure needed to electrify the future including the production of zero carbon fuels such as hydrogen. Furthermore, FNCI is attracting investment in large scale nature-based projects that restore ecosystems in First Nations’ traditional territories as carbon sinks, that will help drive the negative emissions needed to stabilize the climate and reduce GHG concentrations by 2050 and beyond.

The Memorandum of Understanding formalizes a mutually supportive relationship with the following key objectives:

  • engaging together with the provincial and federal governments in areas of mutual interest;
  • participating in international trade missions and events where capacity exists and it is determined that it is mutually beneficial to do so;
  • advancing opportunities for development of BC’s low carbon resources in support of business competitiveness and Indigenous business development;
  • strengthening the relationships between the Nations that are participating in the FNCI process and with the business community; and
  • enabling representatives of the business community to participate in the FNCI collaborative process.

Together with their partner the First Nations Major Project Coalition (FNMPC), the FNCI brings together more than seventy First Nations dedicated to making a globally significant contribution in the fight against climate change. The organizations are calling upon all parties – like and unlike minded - to work together to arrest climate change at 1.5 degrees Celsius while delivering economic prosperity and reconciliation with indigenous people. A spotlight will be put on these issues in April of 2022 when FNMPC will host a major conference with FNCI and BCBC as partners focused on Toward Net Zero by 2050.


“We need bold political will to enable action on the climate emergency without sacrificing the commitment to economic reconciliation with Indigenous peoples so the transition is a just and equitable one that brings the change all British Columbians can support. We are excited about the prospects that our new partnership with the BCBC brings, which demonstrates how Indigenous and business leaders can bring people together to develop innovative local solutions to global challenges." - Crystal Smith, Chief Councilor, Haisla Nation

“British Columbia can make an outsized contribution in the global fight against climate change through the responsible development of our lower carbon intensive natural resource and energy products, while also advancing social and economic prosperity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people throughout the province. The Business Council is pleased to enter into this agreement with our partners at the First Nations Climate Initiative to advance this important work and position B.C., and Indigenous communities as suppliers of choice on the international market in a carbon constrained world.” – Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of B.C.

“The First Nations Major Projects Coalition congratulates FNCI and BCBC on the achievement of this MOU. First Nations and the business community need to be working together to tackle strategic issues such as climate change, and I look forward to continuing our collaborative work together with FNCI and BCBC as we work toward the Net Zero conference this April.” – Chief Sharleen Gale, Chair, First Nations Major Projects Coalition

About the First Nations Climate Initiative

The First Nations Climate Initiative (FNCI) is an Indigenous-led collaborative forum dedicated to the fight against climate change, alleviating First Nations’ poverty, restoring ecosystems in First Nations’ traditional territories, and enabling Indigenous people to be leading actors in the decarbonized economy.

By bringing together First Nations, other governments, climate experts, industry, and other key stakeholders, FNCI is accelerating the development of climate solutions and growing economic opportunities for First Nations.

About the Business Council of British Columbia

Now in its 56th year as the premier business
organization in British Columbia, the Business Council of B.C. is a
non-partisan organization made up of over 200 leading companies, post-secondary
institutions and industry associations from across B.C.'s diversified economy.
The Council produces exceptional public policy research and advocacy in support
of creating a competitive, productive economy for the benefit of all British


Media Contacts:

Colin Wong
Business Council of British Columbia

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