“Global warming is the challenge of our generation. How we respond will shape the future of not just our environment, but also our economy, our society, our communities, and our way of life.” BC Climate Action Plan, Province of British Columbia
Why Care about Climate Change?
As a mountain town, Whistler has long been concerned with the issue of climate change. Our community and our economic engines have a special dependence on stable snow and weather patterns, making us very aware of our shared responsibility to manage greenhouse gas emissions, and even more sensitive to the reality of the potential impacts if we do not.
All communities now live in an era of climate responsibility, and by extension this requires climate action; climate change is a certainty, as is human responsibility for it. Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most significant actions we can undertake as a community to take responsibility for our part in solving the climate crisis.
The Benefits of Increasing Energy Efficiency
Energy Efficiency benefits include:
- saving money on utility and fuel bills
- improving air quality
- reducing the negative ecological impacts of energy production and distribution
- decreasing climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions
- reducing reliance on imported energy products
- supporting new jobs in the ‘green economy’
- demonstrating personal and corporate leadership and responsibility
Reducing energy use and improving efficiency while simultaneously improving the overall quality of life in any community is a collective process. It requires collaboration and cooperation across different professions and sectors of society to ensure its successful adoption – in other words, everyone has a role to play.
The good news is that solutions are all around us - click here to find out what you can do?
Climate Change impacts in British Columbia
Many parts of British Columbia have been warming at a rate that, in some cases, is more than twice the global average. Over the last 50-100 years, B.C. has lost up to 50 per cent of its snow pack, and the total annual precipitation has increased by about 20 per cent. Natural Resources Canada reports that British Columbia is already facing:
- increasingly frequent and severe water shortages
- risks of land loss, resource changes in coastal communities
- challenges to critical infrastructure (eg. utility services, transportation networks)
- increase stress on forests and fisheries
- higher costs associated with insurance, clean-up, and restoration associated with more extreme weather events
- more than 13 million hectares of pine forest affected with the pine beetle epidemic.