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Climate Crossroads: Plan reflects CleanBC Roadmap recommendations

"There is much work to do and change to take place if British Columbians are to meet the already legislated greenhouse gas emission reduction goals of 40 per cent below 2007 levels by 2030." ~ William Lytle-McGhee

On August 16, 2022, the chair of the City of Powell River Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Committee presented a “memo” to mayor and council, and more realistically to the new one to be formed on October 15, 2022, following the municipal election.

This memo contains some key recommendations “for what things the municipality can do for both corporate and community carbon emission reductions.” These recommendations are in large part a direct reflection of the plan presented in the BC government’s CleanBC Roadmap to 2030.

The roadmap can be obtained online by searching CleanBC Roadmap to 2030. It highlights four of the eight pathways described in the CleanBC Roadmap: LowCarbon, Transportation, Buildings and Community.

The other four, Industry (including oil and gas), Forest Bioeconomy, Agriculture-Aquaculture-Fisheries and Negative Emissions Technologies, were excluded from the memo as they were perceived as “not falling as easily within municipal control.”

In the background section of the memo, there is emphasis on the “need to take urgent action together to reduce the impacts of climate change,” to take “faster action” as recommended in two recent international reports, and to recognize the climate change crisis as “a code red for humanity.”

Recent local and global articles reinforce the above statements.

We see references to tipping points such as permafrost thaw and ocean current disruption closing in, tipping point being an event where reversing the problem is no longer an option. Both of these are occurring in Canada, although not exclusively.

Additionally, the impact of warming oceans on the seafood supply, wild and farmed, will be severe if not brought under control. Many people are now suffering climate change anxiety and parents say the future is one not envisioned for their children. And the United Nations reports that the world is heading in the wrong direction with continued fossil fuel development and consumption, and that we are headed into “uncharted territories of destruction.”

So given all of this, how does the local climate activist community and/or concerned citizenry relate to the memo?

Cautious optimism is certainly part of the discussion, noting a clearly stated recommendation to have an impact on community-wide carbon emissions. But there is also some pessimism as so much will depend on the results of the election this coming month.

Who will form the new city council, will there be a new climate action committee, and what are the positions of candidates for the community with regard to the global climate crisis?

There is much work to do and change to take place if British Columbians are to meet the already legislated greenhouse gas emission reduction goals of 40 per cent below 2007 levels by 2030. That is a mere seven years down the road, and there is no sign of any significant reduction in emissions thus far.

Powell Riverites must do their part to contribute to the bigger picture! Hopefully the new council will follow many of the recommendations given in the memo and message the need and necessary actions to the folks who, as yet, are not taking the situation seriously.

The memo can be found on the qCA website: We are indeed at a crossroad.

William Lytle-McGhee is a member of qathet Climate Alliance.