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Renewable energy remains on the Kootenay forefront

Letter to the Editor from Andrew O’Kane

I’ve been noticing that during this pandemic people are tending to inform themselves about the state of things in our province, the country and the world, mostly because so many pandemic-related issues could have immediate impacts on our own lives.

At the same time many extremely important events and trends have received less attention, partly being overshadowed by pandemic news and partly because our emotional capacity to engage with more bad news remains limited for most of us.

Behind the scenes corporations are lobbying hard for “bail outs” and even attempting to have environmental regulations relaxed or rescinded in the name of “the economy.”

It’s tempting to talk more about those things but there is some good news too and that might be more welcome given our strange situation these days.

Prior to the beginning of the pandemic the West Kootenay EcoSociety had been working with people and municipal governments throughout the region on the Renewable Kootenays campaign and up to that point, nine West Kootenay municipalities had signed resolutions pledging to transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.

This really does represent quite an achievement as a first step and the work has been continuing although Covid restrictions have obviously posed some challenges, particularly with public engagement.

During the remainder of this year the EcoSociety will work with and support all local governments in creating action plans to be adopted as we move toward a fair and just transition to renewable energy.

It’s true that the UN and many federal governments, including Canada’s have made the same commitment but implementation must occur locally as well.

Watch for news in your local media this summer and fall and ask your local representatives for more details as this planning progresses.

Add your voice – no sense waiting for someone far away to do this for us, the people of the Kootenays will show them how!

Andrew O’Kane

Warfield, BC

Letter to the Editor