13 local mayors gather to get green

By Contributor
March 29th, 2012

Thirteen mayors, councillors, and regional district directors from across the West Kootenay gathered in Castlegar on March 27 to establish a climate action peer network, share challenges, inspire others and determine ways to work together on their common goals of reducing energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately saving money in their communities around the West Kootenay.

“Working as a group makes things a whole lot better than working as individuals. That’s what this summit was about – working together to find ways to make it easier for everyone to save energy and money,” said Castlegar mayor Lawrence Chernoff.  

Chernoff co-organized the event as part of his role as a member of the BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council.

Reduced energy consumption of street lights, reduced water consumption and improved waste management emerged as the three main themes of the summit.  Participants want to develop a group buying plan for retrofitting street lights in the Kootenays to more energy efficient LED models.  This will be a step forward because, as Trail councillor Gord DeRosa noted, “we have to reduce the frivolous use of power in this province.  From automatic door openers to escalators, we are all out of shape.” 

Summit participants shared their experiences and findings on waste management and water conservation. 

“Landfills can contain 50 to 60 per cent of organic material, so diversion of compostables will conserve landfill space and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” explained councillor Kevin Chernoff from Castlegar.

Silverton councillor Leah Main reported that, “the Village of Silverton has developed the highly successful electronic waste recycling on its own initiative because it needed to be done”.  

New Denver mayor Ann Bunka cautioned that, “recent wildfires in New Denver have educated the community about water conservation as fire never has enough water”. 

The West Kootenay Climate Leadership Summit was organized by Community Energy Association on behalf of the BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council with funding from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), the Climate Action Secretariat and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC’s) BC Region. The BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council is composed of 10 mayors from across BC who stepped forward to assist and mentor other local government officials on climate action. 

The Community Energy Association is a non-profit society that assists local governments on climate action. 

Categories: GeneralPolitics


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