City councillor taken to task

Kelowna's new target is 40% emissions reduction in eight years. I watched the city council meeting on June 20, 2022, when that was on the agenda.

Many people may be unaware that, unfortunately, within the staff presentation to council, the timing of two crucial events was reversed. First reading for the provincial target of 40% (reduction) by 2030 was in May 2018 - before Kelowna council voted unanimously in June 2018 to abandon the 2012 climate plan target of 33% by 2020, and dilute it to 25% by 2033.

Coun. Brad Sieben said "there are limited things that we as a municipality can control." This is disingenuous. The Canadian Federation of Municipalities says climate change is the single biggest challenge of our time. With municipalities influencing roughly half of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions, it's essential to scale up local solutions to transition to a resilient low-carbon future by 2050.

Sieben has, in fact, exerted some control by putting forward motions to delay climate action during his two terms, including the motion to delay the Energy Step Code Implementation that would have increased the energy efficiency and comfort levels for new builds (this motion was passed). He has also made his position clear by voting for urban sprawl, voting to dilute the targets from the 2012 Climate Action Plan, and responding to calls for EV charging infrastructure around town with scepticism, since he can charge his EV at his home. The crisis Kelowna faces has been exacerbated by these actions.

I am a mother of two children in their 20s and I am horrified that their livability will be disastrously impacted by non-action on climate (change).

Tracey Davis

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