Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran says his council will not follow the lead of Vancouver and several other larger international cities that have passed motions declaring a climate emergency.
“We are not considering going down that same path,” said Basran.
But he said climate change remains top of mind for the city and said others measures are being taken locally to address climate change, including the adoption of the city’s new Climate Action Plan, reviewing Kelowna’s Official Community Plan to look at how growth will be managed going forward, steps to address flooding and wildfires, the continuation of corporate moves already underway to address climate change and working with the community as well as other groups and municipalities on the issue.
In Vancouver, the council decision to join international cities like Los Angeles and London in declaring a climate emergency is seen as a tool to give city staff there a mandate to “dramatically strengthen” its climate action plan.
Coun. Christine Boyle, who moved the Vancouver resolution, said that could include new methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond the city’s current climate targets, as well as the creation of a special working group to support Vancouver’s efforts to transition away from fossil fuels.
In Kelowna, Basran said while he is happy with the moves his city has made at a corporate level to address climate change, he feels at the community level more can be done.
“Everybody has to play a part,” he said.
According to the mayor, Kelowna is working with other Okanagan municipalities in the Central Okanagan through the regional district to find solutions to climate change at the local level.
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