Okanagan city on track to battle climate change

Climate Action Advisory Committee urges action is needed

Vernon is taking steps to become more resilient to climate change.

A Climate Action Plan is being developed, with plans to roll it out by spring of 2020.

“We need to take action and soon,” said Brian Guy, of Vernon’s Climate Action Advisory Committee.

Guy shared data with Vernon council Monday, while a number of supporters joined in the gallery.

”The climate is indeed changing and it’s changing rapidly and it represents a real threat.”

Guy pointed to record summer heat, Greenland’s loss of 170,000 million tons of ice in July, rising sea levels and mild winters that aren’t cold enough to kill the mountain pine beetle larvae.

“Mills are closing either temporarily or permanently across B.C.,” said Guy. “Obviously the social and economic impacts of that are huge.”

Vernon specifically is seeing warmer temperatures in the winter and fewer days below freezing, according to Guy.

More extreme hot days and longer dry spells in the summer, more precipitation in the fall and winter and spring and increased frequency and intensity of precipitation are just a few of the effects he notes, along with high water that will come earlier in the spring.

“To keep warming to 1.5 degrees, we must reduce GHG emissions by five per cent below 2010 levels by 2030, and get to zero by 2050.

“We are currently on track for between 2 C and 6 C (which would be catastrophic).”

Due to the urgency, the committee will present recommendations to Vernon council in October prior to the final plan being ready.

“These steps that we take will make Vernon more resilient,” said Guy.

The Climate Action Advisory Committee will also speak at the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s Business Before Business series Oct. 23. The regional district will also be present to speak about food waste diversion and a proposed plastic bag ban. The event takes place at 7:30 a.m. at Farm Bound.

READ MORE: Vernon students strike for climate action, again

READ MORE: Greener future rounded up at eco fair


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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