West Kootenay Climate Hub members from the Nelson area, Kaslo and Creston presented a petition in support of RDCK’s draft climate plan at the October 19 RDCK board meeting. To date 921 residents have signed either the paper or online versions of the petition.
“The petition represents many hours of volunteer time having conversations in our communities – at events and with our family, friends, and neighbours,” said Laura Sacks with the Climate Hub. “The vast majority of people we spoke to supported the plan once they learned more about it. We heard from a lot of people concerned about wildfires, smoke and heat.”
According to Selkirk Innovate’s Subjective Well-being report published last year, 78 percent of people surveyed in the Central Kootenay are worried about climate change. That is consistent with a recent national poll that 72 percent of Canadians are worried about climate change.
“This climate plan has been the target of an attack by a small and vocal minority who do not want to see local climate action proceed,” said Judy O’Leary, also with the Climate Hub. “So we started this petition because we feel that this is a moderate and sensible plan that will start to move us forward in keeping our communities safe from climate impacts, while reducing our own climate pollution.”
During their presentation, the Climate Hub shared some examples of positive climate solutions already happening in our community, like bike paths, energy efficient social housing, electric school buses, and solar panels on schools and businesses.
“There are many benefits of climate solutions: improved health, more comfortable homes, cost savings, energy security and independence, and better transportation options,” said Sacks. “It isn’t about loss, but instead is an opportunity to create a positive future where we can thrive.”
The petition will remain active until the end of the month, when RDCK’s public consultation process closes. You can find that at: https://bit.ly/RDCK-ClimatePetition.
Additional ways to engage in the public consultation are noted on RDCK’s website: https://engage.rdck.ca/rdck-climate-action
“These hundreds of petitions clearly show that a broad cross section of our community cares about climate change and expects to have an effective plan,” says O’Leary. “We ended our presentation asking the Board to show the leadership required to take us and the next generation toward a safe climate future in our district.”