They want climate action and they want it now.
On Friday afternoon, Extinction Rebellion Kelowna members, along with community members, took to the streets to protest the lack of climate action in the city.
Ana Ciocoiu is a representative of the group. She said Kelowna needs to follow other municipalities’ lead in declaring a climate emergency.
“I liken it to Alcoholics Anonymous. The first step is to admit you have a problem and that’s what declaring a climate emergency would do. We have a problem, now let’s actually actively take steps to solve it. It holds the city accountable… it sets the stage for future actions basically, and it’s a kind of commitment,” Ciocoiu said.
Around 50 individuals showed up at city hall, all demanding to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.
There has been so much damage done to the earth since the Industrial Revolution, according to activist Wes Kamet. He said we have to try to undo the damage now.
“We have a whole list of things we really have to clean up,” Kamet said.
Ciocoiu added the City of Kelowna can do a lot in terms of climate action.
“The municipalities have a lot of control over the city’s layout and over the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the city.”
“One thing Kelowna can do is to start investing massively in its public transit system. They say they don’t have any funds but at the same time, they approved to build a new 16-stall carwash and gas station which is going to cost what, a million dollars or so? So take that money, instead of investing it in car-centric infrastructure, take that money and put it into the transit system.”