Local residents are organizing to increase climate action in the West Kootenay. Concern intensified during this summer of deadly heat, wildfires, smoke, and drought. It can be easy to give in to despair and feel paralyzed, especially during the pandemic.
Members from local groups involved in climate action didn’t let this stop them. They gathered online to discuss how to be more effective together.
The result is the formation of the non-partisan West Kootenay Climate Hub (WKCH), formally launching this week. It is no coincidence that it corresponds with the latest UN Climate Conference, COP26, which is being hailed as "the world's best last chance" to get the climate emergency under control.
“We are definitely feeling the impacts of climate change here and now, so it is really exciting to be part of a West Kootenay collaboration on climate solutions,” says WKCH co-organizer and Citizens’ Climate Lobby Nelson-West Kootenay co-leader, Judy O’Leary.
The WKCH’s mission is to facilitate communication and collaboration among organizations and individuals in the region to amplify climate action. The WKCH will be part of the Community Climate Hub initiative to share resources, successes, and ideas with climate hubs across the country.
Individuals are welcome to join the WKCH and connect with others wanting to take action on climate. Organizations join as partners who support the WKCH mission and amplify each other’s initiatives and events.
Over a dozen partner organizations have joined from across the West Kootenay. In addition to climate advocacy groups, other partner organizations come with specific focuses, such as faith, safe cycling, health and community well being. A full list of partners is on the website.
"Being part of climate action and solutions is a critical part of community building." states board chair of Nelson at its Best, George Chandler.
"As a group of dedicated volunteers, we're thrilled to have achieved success in the Creston Valley and to have forged a good relationship with the Town of Creston,” says Creston Climate Action Society board member, Jackie Moore. “The Town Council unanimously committed to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050 and adopted our Idle Free Creston initiative, with Idle-Free signs placed on town and commercial properties ”
“The divine light of hope and compassion compels us to act for the future of our planet; we can not wait any longer,” says Reverend David Boyd for the Nelson Interfaith Climate Action Collaborative. “Future generations of all life’s diverse species call on human beings to make significant changes to their habits and lifestyles.”
The time for more ambition locally and globally is now.