Transition Salt Spring has declared June Climate Awareness Month on the island and has started a review process for the Salt Spring Island Climate Action Plan, to be finished by March 2020.
The organization held their annual general meeting on Saturday, June 1, where they announced the intention to review the plan. The review will be coordinated by the Climate Action Group.
In 2011 the first iteration of the Climate Action Plan was published. It was intended to be a living document. The original plan had one revision in 2012, and has since fallen out of the public eye. Over the course of the next nine months, the Climate Action Group will reach out to community members, businesses and other target groups to inform how Salt Spring will move into a future made uncertain by climate change.
“Things have changed so dramatically since 2011, everybody is beginning to realize that we have to adapt to the changes that are already built in. No matter how much we manage to avoid the worst of what’s to come, we have to do both,” said Climate Action Group member and editor of the original plan, Elizabeth White. “We have to mitigate and adapt. One of the imperatives to doing it now is to put adaptation measures into the plan.”
The project is eligible for CRD Community Works funding, and CRD Director Gary Holman has expressed his support for their application. Next steps include setting up a steering committee with various interests represented, as well as coordinating community meetings. An online engagement site will also be created to give people the chance to voice their ideas even if they cannot attend a meeting.
Though the plan will not be complete until at least next March, White said that people can start to implement changes at any time.
“A lot of it is lifestyle choice, they’re decisions that are made on a daily basis,” she said. “Avoiding buying stuff in general is a huge one. Many of us live in houses that are larger than they need to be. If you can go smaller, that’s a good idea. It’s those sorts of decisions that are going to make a difference.”