A screenshot of the online petition started by Penticton resident Nicolas Stulberg to have Penticton city council declare a climate emergency. As of Nov. 20, the petition has garnered over 400 signatures. (Photo from Change.org)

Penticton council to hear case for declaring a climate emergency in the new year

The newly formed Sustainability Committee has been directed to look at the idea

The City of Penticton will likely hear the case for declaring a climate emergency in the new year, following a presentation during Tuesday’s meeting that gave an overview of how the city can fight climate change.

Nicolas Stulberg, a Penticton resident and member of the newly appointed Sustainability Committee, presented during the Nov. 19 committee of the whole on why the city should declare a climate emergency and which communities in the province have already done so.

“As a city in British Columbia, Penticton can address climate change using its unique authority as defined in the Community Charter and the Local Government Act. Some examples along with passing a motion to declare a climate emergency would be simple things like passing a motion for anti-idling bylaws,” said Stulberg. “Or coordinating grants or programs that support the use of electric vehicles.”

READ MORE: Penticton’s Hoodoo Adventures to host first Canadian event in Adventure Racing World Series

Stulberg explained that there is no specific criteria that must be included in a climate emergency declaration, rather “it is up to each individual council to make up its mind about what it wants to suggest and implement.” Examples include “revamping council and city operations,” endorsing education programs encouraging the local community to follow suit and “lobbying to encourage provincial government to declare a climate emergency.”

According to his report to council, 1,185 jurisdictions worldwide – including 468 in Canada – have declared climate emergencies, as well as 23 countries. Canada is one of dozens of countries to make a national declaration about the climate emergency.

“Councils are the key to local action. With the failure of larger governing bodies to respond effectively to global warming, city council can play a leading response role by: setting safe climate goals and targets; implementing local programs; lobbying provincial and federal governments; and encouraging other councils to do the same,” said Stulberg.

Stulberg also launched an online petition to Penticton city council to declare a climate emergency, which currently has over 400 signatures.

“I think this is something that city council should consider in the future. What I would like to see is this as one of the first tasks run by the new Sustainability Committee and to get their feedback on it as well,” said Coun. Julius Bloomfield. “I think that a declaration is fine, it’s good that it shows intent, but it also should have some goals. Without goals, it can be just shelved where it collects dust amongst other declarations.”

Other members on council echoed Bloomfield’s remarks and they voted unanimously to direct the Sustainability Committee to look at the possibility of declaring a climate emergency when it begins meeting in the new year.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Temporary four-way stop added to Vernon intersection

Change at 43rd Ave. and 20th St. is designed to curb increased traffic during construction periods

Protest planned after Vernon man’s probation conditions lifted

Richard Slobodian had his probation order cancelled in B.C. Provincial Court Sept. 14

COVID-19 minimizes Okanagan Regional Library budget increase

Library adapts to pandemic fiscal disruptions

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Stranger in truck grabs boy walking home from school in Kelowna

The 11-year-old boy escaped the incident, RCMP are investigating

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Okanagan manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read