Climate Action plan

A Climate Action Plan for Cortes Island

“What exactly do we need to do as a community to survive, and thrive, through what is coming. Through the climate crisis; through climate breakdown; to mitigate as much as possible so that we can forego the extreme worst case scenarios and avoid them,”  said Ashley Zarbatany.

Need for a Climate Action Plan

After the informal launch of Climate Hope, a year and a half ago, the organization was sidelined by the COVID pandemic. Zarbatany was hired to get it going again. Her first project will be drawing up a Climate Action Plan for Cortes Island.  

Over the course of the next year Climate Hope will be holding townhall meetings, sending out surveys and holding a series of conversations. 

“Most of it will have to be done online or over the telephone, because of COVID. That poses a different challenge, but we can make it happen regardless and we have to make it happen because time is running short,” said Zarbatany.

“The science behind climate change is very dire. In 2018, which isn’t the most recent finding, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that we needed to halve global greenhouse emissions to avoid going over 1.5% of global warming. At this point, things are happening so quickly. The Arctic is melting. It is accelerating at a pace that scientists were not expecting and so it is really important that we do everything we can to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”

On Cortes, we need to figure out where our emissions come from and what we need to do to reduce them. 

We have alternatives to carbon

In the podcast above, she mentions three obvious sources of Cortes Island’s emissions: 

Zarbatany stressed the fact we are so blessed to  be in BC, where we have abundant hydro electricity “which is carbon neutral.”

“We should be using that to the best of our abilities. So how do we do that in a way that is cost efficient, accessible to everyone regardless of income levels? How do we get electric heat pumps for everyone? That is ideal for our environment! We need to electrify everything in places where it makes sense,” she said.

Towards a Climate Action Plan

Zarbatany is looking for Cortes organizations that wish to partner with Climate Hope and people who want to draw up a Climate Action Plan for the island.

“Part of the process of the Climate Action Plan will be determining first, and foremost, how many tons of emissions do we put out as a community? Where are the major sources of emissions? And how can we go about creating alternatives?”

Links of Interest

Top photo credit: Burning or cutting down trees reverses the effects of carbon sequestration and releases greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere. Furthermore, deforestation changes the landscape and reflectivity of earth’s surface, Global warming may increase the intensity and frequency of droughts in many areas, creating more intense and frequent wildfires – by Maher Najm via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative

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