Kaslo Village Council and renewable energy supporters celebrate the commitment to the 100 per cent renewable energy transition. Photo submitted

Kaslo Village Council and renewable energy supporters celebrate the commitment to the 100 per cent renewable energy transition. Photo submitted

Kaslo commits to 100 per cent renewable energy plan

Nine local governments have made the pledge this year

Submitted by West Kootenay EcoSociety

While the federal government talks about climate change in the throne speech and world leaders meet in Madrid for the United Nations climate change convention, communities in the West Kootenay are taking action in their backyards.

On Tuesday, the Village of Kaslo became the third West Kootenay local government in the past month to make the commitment to 100 per cent renewable energy, the sixth this year and the ninth in the region.

“Kaslo is proud to be part of the 100 per cent renewable energy movement across the West Kootenays and beyond. We’re looking forward to taking the next steps in this transition and joining our other local government partners and the public in working toward this goal,” says Mayor Suzan Hewat.

Kaslo Village Council passed the resolution at last night’s meeting, joining the cities of Castlegar, Nelson and Rossland, the villages of New Denver, Slocan, Silverton and Warfield, and the Regional District of Central Kootenay in their commitment to use renewable energy in all energy use in the community, including heating and cooling, transportation, electricity and waste management.

“This is what leadership looks like on the ground. The goal of achieving 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 is spreading across our region,” says Montana Burgess, West Kootenay EcoSociety executive director.

“The time for talk has passed. We’re seeing communities here in the Kootenays taking action, and it’s building momentum to show other communities that they can tackle this, too. Our local governments are leading in working together to address the climate crisis.”

In the recent federal election, more than 60 per cent of Canadian voters chose parties promising more action on the climate crisis. Canada’s new Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson is in Spain at the United Nations climate conference and has the opportunity to show the world that Canada is ready to diversify its economy while enabling a just transition to a renewable energy economy that protects workers and communities.

And while Canada just pledged to be net-zero by 2050, the real ambition to embrace a renewable energy future is found at the local government level. Towns and cities that are stepping up to prove 100 per cent renewable energy use is possible are setting the bold precedents that others can follow.

“I am proud to be a part of Kaslo’s Climate Action Team (KCAT), a group of determined local citizens who are helping to increase awareness about climate change and the need to shift towards 100 per cent renewable energy in our own backyards. It takes a village!” says Kaslo resident and volunteer Lynn van Deursen.

West Kootenay EcoSociety has invited the village to take part in developing a strategy to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 as part of a regional plan, and the village plans to include the energy transition in their upcoming revision of their Official Community Plan, the most powerful tool local governments have for planning their communities and development.

The EcoSociety is working with local governments to draft a West Kootenay 100 per cent Renewable Energy Plan to achieve the clean energy transition while building stronger communities. The plan is set to be released in 2020 with opportunities for residents to provide their input and ideas over the coming year.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

The Purcell Wilderness Conservancy is the largest protected area in southeastern B.C. Photo: B.C. Parks
Province adds land to Valhalla and Purcell parks

Both additions enhance the parks’ ecological values, the province says

RCMP responded to a report early Friday morning of a suspect firing a gun at a Salmo home. Photo: Black Press
RCMP arrest woman who fired shots at Salmo home

The woman allegedly discharged a firearm early Friday morning

Nelson is holding a municipal by-election to replace former councillor Brittny Anderson, who resigned in December. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson by-election nomination deadlines set

Candidacies must be registered between Feb. 9 and Feb. 19

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read