BC Mayors & Councillors Lead the Way on Local Climate Action

On Tuesday, September 26, 2017, BCMCLC met with the honourable George Hayman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, a number of MLAs and key stakeholders to discuss collaboration on the urgent issue of climate change.

Hosting the 8th annual Ministers’ Breakfast at the UBCM convention, Mayor Richard Walton of the District of North Vancouver noted that “BCMCLC is providing visible, inspiring, local leadership on climate change that goes beyond politics as usual and we welcome the opportunity to showcase BC’s leadership on continued collaboration between provincial and local leaders.”

Local governments are Canada’s asset managers. Here in BC, local governments influence over 55% of greenhouse gas emissions, having direct and indirect impact on how we build, how we get around and how we deal with waste. The majority of BC communities have adopted a Community Energy and Emissions Plan and have set specific targets for GHG reductions. That means almost 80% of the population in the province is living in a community with a plan to address climate action.

“The time in now,” Walton urged. “Plans are important, but so is action. With the province’s renewed commitment to climate action and the federal government’s support through future infrastructure funding, opportunities abound for local governments to lead their communities into the green future they desire.”

“Provincial and federal politicians are more aware of community energy leadership momentum than ever before and there is broad-based support at all levels of government,” shared Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff, “and the BCMCLC collaboration between local and provincial leaders shows climate action moving beyond partisan politics.”

Themes of collaboration and leadership will set the stage for BCMCLC’s upcoming Climate Leadership Institute, an intensive training event with leading professionals and inspirational colleagues from the BCMCLC. “Over the last few years, we have heard loud and clear that locally elected officials want to deepen their knowledge and build the hard skills to lead their communities on climate action and BCMCLC’s Climate Leadership Institute will do just that,”says Mayor Taylor Bachrach of Smithers.