Council urged to action on climate

Climate catastrophe in Philippines prompts resident to call for action plan that addressing more than economy.

Sicamous resident Pam Beech is hoping municipal council will follow up on a fundraising effort for the Philippines by pushing for a provincial climate action plan.

Beech attended a recent council meeting where Coun. Terry Rysz, acting as deputy mayor, made the motion that the district issue a challenge to other Canadian municipalities with populations under 5,000 to raise $1,000 for the Typhoon Haiyan Fund administered by the Red Cross. At that meeting, she asked that council might expand that challenge to taking action on climate.

At council’s Nov. 27 meeting, Beech said she recognized the challenge probably wouldn’t work. However, after commending Rysz and council for initiating the fundraising challenge, she suggested another approach.

“I think there’s significant awareness, or growing awareness, and certainly a lot of discussion around the connection between these intensified storms and disasters and the state of our climate…,” said Beech. “But I would ask if you might consider preparing a resolution for the Union of BC Municipalities in regards to asking the province for a climate action plan.”

The B.C. government introduced a climate action plan in 2008, its focus largely on reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), with a legislated target of a 33 per cent (one-third) province-wide decrease by 2020, and 85 per cent by 2050.

In a letter accompanying her request, Beech’s call for climate action considers more than GHG goals.

“I would ask district council to add supporting climate action to their green enthusiasm and show not only our aptitude for caring and compassion, but also our aptitude for seeing the much bigger picture of ‘climate change,’ our willingness to advocate for the powerless victims of climate change, the people, the environment and our world ecosystem and, importantly, our desire to empower real, sustainable change.”

Coun. Fred Busch supported Beech’s request, and asked that it be brought back to a later meeting of council for discussion.

“Certainly climate is changing, climate has always changed, climate has never been static,” said Busch. “Perhaps we’re going through some more dramatic changes than we’ve seen in the past, and there is something that we can actually do.”

An Environment Canada report presented in April of this year to the United Nations showed B.C. to be on track to meeting its 33 per cent target. However, there is the expectation GHG emissions will double with the province’s push to expand the liquified natural gas industry.



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