Creston is now the 11th community in West Kootenays to commit to a future without fossil fuels. Town councilors unanimously opted to accept the 100 percent renewable energy program by 2050 at their most recent meeting on September 7. The transition will affect electricity, cooling, and heating in buildings, transportation, and other businesses. Natasha Edmunds, EcoSociety’s organizing director, remarked, “I am very encouraged by Creston’s leadership.”
“Watching the community join hands over the last few years to assist their council in the renewable energy transition has been a fantastic experience. Creston is paving the way for other rural towns to follow in their footsteps and live cleaner, healthier, and safer lives.” The effort was developed in partnership with West Kootenay EcoSociety, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental protection, and the Creston Climate Action Society, which is directed locally. Vice-Chair of Creston Climate Action Society, Elizabeth Quinn, remarked, “I’m thankful, and so are all volunteers who worked on this campaign.”
“We are overjoyed with the result and will now work with the Town of Creston to enlighten ourselves and residents about the benefits of renewable energy.” This felt like a logical next step for the Creston Valley, given the region’s existing positive sustainability initiatives, like electric charging stations, wood stove exchange programs, sustainable community agriculture, and compost bin rebate programs. Creston Climate Action Society, a local activist group, has over 70 members who donate their time to educate people about the climate problem.
“We are happy to join our neighboring communities in shifting to a cleaner future by signing on to the 100 percent Renewable Energy initiative,” stated Jen Comer, town councilor. “The plan identifies sectors where local governments can cut greenhouse gas emissions and allows us to communicate our progress to the public. It will collect all of the fantastic work we’ve previously done, but most importantly, it will enable us to achieve even more in the years ahead.”
Through this effort, the West Kootenay EcoSociety is going to continue to help Creston. The next stage will be for town staff to design a transition strategy based on the framework given in West Kootenay 100 percent Renewable Energy Plan, which has previously helped 9 other local governments accomplish so.
The West Kootenay EcoSociety brings together citizens in the West Kootenay region to protect the natural environment while also constructing just, equitable, healthy, and livable communities. For more than 25 years, EcoSociety has been safeguarding natural areas and fostering sustainable communities.