For the second year in a row, the City of Kelowna has been recognized by the Union of B.C. Municipalities for its commitment toward addressing climate change in the community.
The city was again awarded a Level 3 recognition, which is given to local governments for accelerating progress on B.C. Climate Action Charter commitments.
“The City has done a lot of great work to help reduce emissions and prepare the community for climate change,” said Tracy Guidi, City of Kelowna sustainable coordinator.
‘“But we still have a long way to go to deliver on Imagine Kelowna’s goals and Council’s Priorities to take action and be resilient in the face of climate change.”
Some of the initiatives the city has undertaken include:
- Implementing the Energy Step Code to make new buildings more energy-efficient and lower operating costs
- Converting 10,000 streetlights to LED that resulted in a 62 per cent reduction in energy use
- Hiring a Community Energy Specialist to focus on strategies, policies and opportunities for energy efficiency
- Expanding the City’s active transportation network with a combined 73.3 km of new buffered bike lanes, multi-use paths, sidewalks and bike lanes added in 2018
- Collaborating with regional partners on the Clean Air and Safe Routes 4 Schools program: Pearson, Raymer, Belgo and South Kelowna Elementary schools participate in helping reduce school emissions
- Celebrating 10 years of the NeighbourWoods program, contributing more than 4,000 trees being planted by residents that help reduce pollution in the air, water and soil while providing shade, oxygen and humidity
“We know that the two biggest contributors to GHG emissions in Kelowna are on-road transportation and buildings,” said Guidi.
“Climate change is happening now and affects everyone, and while the City is taking steps to make a difference, successfully reducing emissions requires the public to take an active role in impacting real change.”