Silverton director Leah Main hopes what she calls a strong statement on climate change helps focus the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s priorities.
The RDCK’s board of directors passed two motions Thursday declaring an imperative that every government’s policies for building construction, energy systems, land use and transportation be changed or developed with climate change in mind.
It also directs staff to report back on work underway, as well as ways in which those efforts might be increased or accelerated.
Main, who brought forward the motions, said she deliberately opted for the word imperative over emergency to emphasize current and future efforts.
“It’s a political statement. A call to arms recognizing the serious situation we’re in with climate change,” said Main. “Secondly, it makes a strong statement of the regional district’s state of play. In other words, what we’ve already done, what we’re doing and where we want to go to come up with an inventory and a potential pathway of ways we can increase what we’re doing.”
The motions do not mark the beginning of the RDCK’s climate change work — its SustainABLE Central Kootenay initiative, for example, gathered public input in 2009 to help guide board discussions, and the regional district has already committed to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.
Main, who also chairs the district’s Community Sustainable Living Advisory Committee, said the statement is a way of emphasizing programs already in place while paving the way for more.
“We’re doing the work. It’s not that we waited until 2019 to do the work. We waited until 2019 to make this specific statement and it’s an idea that’s time has come.”