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November 20, 2019, 1:03 pm

West Kootenays Leads Country in Commitment to 100% Renewable Energy Transition

West Kootenay Eco Society

CASTLEGAR - Half of the Canadian local governments that have committed to renewable energy are in British Columbia’s West Kootenays.

The City of Castlegar--population 8,900--voted last night to join the global movement and commit to 100% renewable energy transition by 2050 in all energy use sectors in the community, including heating and cooling, transportation, electricity and waste management, becoming the seventh local government in the West Kootenays and the 15th in Canada to do so.

Castlegar’s city council passed the resolution at their November 18 meeting, joining the West Kootenay villages of Silverton, Slocan, and New Denver, cities of Rossland and Nelson and the Regional District of Central Kootenay in their commitment to cleaner energy, healthier and safer community and stronger economy.

West Kootenay EcoSociety is spearheading the transition to renewable energy in the region. Through public engagement and volunteer efforts, they are encouraging residents, organizations and businesses to learn more about the benefits of clean energy and show their local government their support for renewable energy.

“We’re educating, advocating and helping show our local governments the steps to achieving 100% renewable energy. We outline the benefits of clean energy, and then once they’ve passed a resolution, we work with the local governments collectively to develop a strategy to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050,” said Montana Burgess, West Kootenay EcoSociety executive director.

Castlegar is a pulp and lumber trades industry town, with a sales and service sector, as well as a college as large employers. It attracts young families with its well-known sculpture festival and multitude of nearby outdoor recreation opportunities.

“The support from the people of the community is so important to show each city that there is widespread support for the shift to clean energy, and to create enthusiasm while educating. It takes more than the local government. It takes residents, community leaders, and business owners to be part of the solution as well,” Burgess adds.

The West Kootenays aims to be the largest geographic area in the country to commit to the transition to 100% renewable energy. 10,000 people in the region have signed a petition encouraging their local governments to take up the challenge for cleaner energy and healthier communities. Over 100 businesses and organizations have also said they support the 100% renewable energy transition.

100% renewable energy means by 2050 communities will be carbon-neutral in heating and cooling, electricity, transportation, and waste management throughout the community with additional energy being used coming from renewable sources. Over a hundred cities in the US have committed to 100% renewable energy along with over 150 others around the world.

West Kootenay EcoSociety is a non-profit community-driven organization that works to bring together local residents to protect the natural environment while building just, equitable, healthy, and livable communities in the West Kootenay region.

For more information, contact:

Montana Burgess, Executive Director West Kootenay EcoSociety montana@ecosociety.ca
250-509-0184
www.ecosociety.ca

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