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Smithers Climate Action group sets implementing plans as priority for town

The Town is showing it takes the climate emergency seriously, the group believes
A group of Smithers Secondary students marched from the school to Subway Plaza to raise awareness of climate change issues. (Thom Barker photo)

The Smithers Climate Action group met Nov. 30, to determine what actions they would like to see the Town of Smithers set as priorities for meeting its greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The town has a mid-term greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 per cent below 2007 levels by 2030, according to Smithers Community Energy and Emissions Plan.

By signing the BC Climate Action Charter, the Town of Smithers has committed to carbon neutrality in corporate operations, to measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions, and to create a more compact and more energy-efficient community. In the past few years, the town made significant steps toward meeting its goal by creating foundational plans.

READ MORE: B.C. communities to receive new annual climate action funding

By implementing these plans, including the new Official Community Plan, the 2021 Smithers Community Energy and Emissions Plan and the 2019 Active Transportation Plan, the town will be in a good position to meet its targets, the group said.

“As the new town council sets its priorities, Smithers Climate Action would like the Town of Smithers to commit to implement these plans, and to track and report on their progress to reduce greenhouse gases,” said Greg Tamblyn, spokesperson for the group.

“We look forward to working with the Town and other groups to make these plans a reality.”

The town is showing that they take the Climate Emergency seriously and that this issue is important to council, the group believes. The Town has recently used a grant to hire a climate action specialist for a 2.5-year term, to help develop and implement the municipality’s greenhouse gas reductions plan.

“Existing projects like creating bike lanes in town, supporting tree planting, installing electric vehicle charging stations, supporting the Cycle 16 initiative to build a trail between Smithers and Telkwa, and using waste heat from the arena to heat the pool are projects that will ultimately create a cleaner, healthier and safer community, while saving money,” said Tamblyn.

The mission of Smithers Climate Action is to build local grassroots actions that reduce greenhouse gases, increase community resilience, and benefit people, nature, and biodiversity.

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