At its April meeting, the board of directors of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) committed to working towards 100% renewable energy. The 100% Renewable Kootenays by 2050 initiative, led by the West Kootenay Eco-Society, asks communities to adopt a target to generating enough renewable energy to meet or exceed the energy that is consumed within their jurisdiction for building operations, transportation, and electricity sectors, through policies and actions that allow the target to be reached by 2050.
“The Board of Directors of the RDCK supports the goals of the 100% Renewable Kootenays initiative, and we are pleased to see the West Kootenay Eco-Society take a leadership role in responding to climate change,” said Karen Hamling, Chair of the RDCK Board of Directors. “We are committed to the development of strategies and the implementation of renewable energy projects, and we will continue to build on existing policies and programs to help do our part to address this global issue.”
The RDCK joins seven other communities from across Canada in making the 100% renewable commitment, including the City of Nelson and the Village of Slocan.
“The RDCK is demonstrating the strongest commitment yet to the 100% Renewable Kootenays goal,” said Nicole Charlwood, Co-Executive Director of the West Kootenay Eco-Society. “We believe our renewable energy scenario research and 2017 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency conference really got the ball rolling and allowed us to start the local energy shift needed to meet our climate targets. We will continue to support the RDCK by connecting with communities in the region to gather data and build participation; helping to design strategies that work with today’s technologies; and offering support with funding applications.”
Opportunities for the RDCK include reducing its internal operational corporate consumption; considering how to support increased renewable generation or production; and creating policies and programs to increase community consumption of renewable energy.
“The commitment to work towards 100% renewable energy supports the RDCK’s long-standing commitment towards reducing greenhouse gases,” said Sangita Sudan, General Manager of Development Services. “The RDCK is investing in corporate and community programs such as yearly Climate Action Rebate Incentive Program (CARIP) reporting to Province, energy audits and tracking on all RDCK facilities, the Accelerate Kootenay Electric Vehicle strategy, a Senior Energy Specialist and energy retrofits at community halls.”
Ms. Sudan further noted that “the pathway towards 100% renewable energy by 2050 will become clearer as technology and funding becomes available. This is a commitment to engage in exploration and discovery and offer leadership that will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”
For more information about the 100% Renewable Kootenays by 2050 initiative, please visit the website of the West Kootenay Eco-Society: https://ww2.ecosociety.ca/