Creston has officially become the 11th community in the West Kootenays to pledge to a future free of fossil fuels.
At the last meeting on Sept. 7, town councillors voted unanimously to adopt the 100% Renewable Energy Plan by 2050. The transition will include electricity, heating and cooling in buildings, transportation, and other industries.
“I am so inspired by Creston’s leadership,” said Natasha Edmunds, organizing director for EcoSociety.
“It’s been an incredible experience seeing the community come together over the past few years to support their council in a renewable energy transition. Creston is setting the path forward for other rural communities like theirs to live healthier, safer, and cleaner lives.”
The initiative was brought forward in collaboration with the West Kootenay EcoSociety, a non-profit committed to protecting the natural environment, and the locally-led Creston Climate Action Society.
“I’m grateful, and so are all the volunteers that worked on this initiative,” said Creston Climate Action Society Vice-Chair Elizabeth Quinn.
”We are elated with the outcome and will now roll up our sleeves to partner with the Town of Creston to educate ourselves and residents to transition to using renewable energy.”
This seemed like the next natural step for the Creston Valley, as there are already positive movements towards sustainability such as electric charging stations, compost bin rebate programs, wood stove exchange programs, and sustainable community agriculture. The local activist group, Creston Climate Action Society, also boasts over 70 members who volunteer their time to educating others on the climate crisis.
“We are thrilled to sign onto the 100% Renewable Energy initiative and join our neighbouring communities in transitioning to a greener future,” said town councillor Jen Comer.
“The plan highlights areas where local governments can reduce greenhouse gases and provides us with a way to report back to the community on our progress. It will compile all the great work we’re already doing, but most importantly, help us achieve more in years to come.”
The West Kootenay EcoSociety will continue to support Creston through this initiative. In the next steps, town staff will work to develop a transition plan based off the blueprint outlined in the West Kootenay 100% Renewable Energy Plan, which has already supported nine other local governments in doing so.