BC Municipalities Marching Ahead with Climate Action


Community Energy Association

Thu, 09/25/2014
Whistler – While global marches continue for increased international cooperation on climate action, Mayors, councillors met with Minister of Environment Mary Polak and MLA’s George Heyman and Spencer Chandra Hebert in Whistler to collaborate on practical actions to save energy emissions and money locally.
The BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council held its 5th annual breakfast meeting this morning in Whistler at the annual Union of BC Municipalities conference (UBCM AGM) to forge a new, collaborative, non-partisan approach to climate action at the local level in BC.
Mayor Richard Walton (District of North Vancouver), chair of the BCMCLC said “After five years of intensive activity with the BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council, the Climate Action Charter, and action across BC, it is time to reflect on what has been learned and how practical, cost-effective actions can be accelerated and how best to communicate the substantial economic value in saving energy and emissions”
“Practical actions that communities are taking include encouraging better new buildings and retrofitting existing ones for energy efficiency and solar energy. Many communities are also supporting better ways to move including transit, cycling and walking, and electric vehicles as well as reducing the distance people have to travel to work and services.” said Councillor Shuman of Dawson Creek.
BC municipal leadership is not just talk, the hard numbers to back it up include: Half of BC municipalities have a climate action plan to help their residents and businesses save energy, emissions and money. Three quarters of BC residents live in a community with a climate action plan. Implementation necessitates collaboration and learning from each other. 31 local governments achieved carbon neutrality for their operations in 2012 and there have been 5,443 reported specific actions at the local level since 2010.
The group, which includes representatives from each region of the province and across the political spectrum, found the meeting effective and were excited by the collaborative tone and opportunities identified.
The BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council was formed five years ago to recognize and support local government leaders who are taking action to address climate change in their communities. The elected representatives must have made a commitment to climate action while the communities they represent must have a proven track record of action to reduce greenhouse gas emission while focusing on creating more sustainable communities.
The Community Energy Association of BC, formed 20 years ago by the Province of BC and UBCM, to acts as secretariat for the BCMCLC which among other things has conducted local government
workshops around the province recognizing and encouraging greater climate action at the community level.
The current members of the BCMCLC include:
• Mayor Richard Walton, (Chair) District of North Vancouver
• Mayor Gregor Robertson, City of Vancouver
• Mayor Darrell Mussatto, City of North Vancouver
• Mayor Dean Fortin, City of Victoria
• Mayor Lawrence Chernoff, City of Castlegar
• Mayor Luke Strimbold, Village of Burns Lake
• Mayor Karen Hamilton, City of Colwood
• Also participating in the BCMCLC meeting at the 2013 UBCM:
• Andrea Reimer, Councillor City of Vancouver
• Cheryl Shuman, Councillor City of Dawson Creek
Mayor Richard Walton District of North Vancouver
C: 604 240-7721
Dale Littlejohn, Executive Director Community Energy Association
T:604.628.7076 C: 604.785.5130