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Kootenay Boundary regional district takes bold climate action

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary releases Climate Action Plan
L-R: The Technical Advisory Group came together to help craft the RDKB Climate Action Plan, including Mark Stephens, manager of emergency management; Freya Phillips, senior energy specialist; Goran Denkovski manager of infrastructure and sustainability; and Donna Dean, manager of planning and development. Photo: Submitted

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s (RDKB) Climate Action Plan outlines the bold and streamlined approach that it will take to secure a resilient, low carbon and net-zero future in the RDKB by 2050.

The Climate Action Plan was published last week, and its six guiding principles, six climate action goals, 19 pathways for corporate action, and 53 pathways for community action provide the framework needed to realize the transformative change required and accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.

“Read the plan and help us achieve our climate vision!” says Freya Phillips, RDKB’s Senior Energy Specialist, who led the plan development.

“Whether you’re an RDKB resident or a business operating in the region, you’ll have felt the impact of climate change. It’s all around us in the form of record-setting wildfires, flooding and extreme heat waves, drought and storm events, but there are areas we can collectively focus our efforts on for maximum benefit.”

The plan was developed through a combination of research and engagement with regional staff, stakeholders and the public that began last fall.

The RDKB will play a mix of direct, partnership and advocacy roles within it to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from RDKB’s corporate operations and community activities across the RDKB electoral areas. It will also help prepare local people for climate change, increase their resiliency towards it and boost their ability to adapt.

“Our plan maps the way forward and incorporates all the valuable, insightful feedback we received from the public who took the time to share their concerns about the changing climate,” said Phillips. “There were many inspiring stories describing what local people are doing to positively manage climate change in their lives too. It is possible and there are so many ways that the RDKB can help them to reduce emissions and increase resiliency even further.”

Incorporating climate adaptation, preparedness and mitigation, the Plan is guided by six principles that recognize the importance of leadership, practical actions, affordability as well as collaboration, co-benefits, and health.

Together they serve to realize its climate vision: “To create a region that provides opportunities and access for everyone to live, work and play in a low carbon manner. To work together to create a resilient and sustainable community that enables residents and businesses to adapt to our changing climate, while protecting and enhancing our natural environment.”

“The more we reduce total GHG emissions in the short term, the less extreme the changes to our climate will be over time,” explains Phillips. “As a community we’ve started taking a proactive approach through our low carbon action for buildings, changing the way we heat and cool houses, how we transport ourselves around the region and how we dispose of organic waste in landfill.

“Climate action is a shared responsibility that reduces the negative impact on property, insurance premiums, stress and anxiety, water availability, tourism, extreme weather and the emergency services.”

Linda Worley, RDKB’s Board Chair and Director of Area B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory says the plan was a team effort and an example of collaboration and resourcefulness at its finest.

“Multiple departments have contributed their expertise and have built upon existing work to maintain momentum. It shows what is already being actioned, the important role that rural and small communities can play in addressing climate change and how the RDKB can support them.”

RDKB’s Climate Action Plan can be accessed online at

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