The Cowichan Climate Hub works to foster community awareness about the climate emergency and engage in collaborative conversations to achieve solutions-focused climate action locally. We are a collaboration of local groups seeking to support and work together with local government so no one is left behind.
Transition Cowichan is pleased to be one of the founding groups of the Cowichan Climate Hub – a diverse group of social benefit and environmental non-profits, faith groups, farmers, fishers, small businesses, schools, labour groups and others concerned about the climate emergency – who want to engage constructively with local government and move our communities toward solutions that make a difference.
Climate change, and the increasing weather extremes it’s bringing our way, affect just about everything in our lives – food security, housing, our mental and physical health.
The Cowichan Climate Hub has the following purposes:
• to foster increased community awareness about the climate emergency;
• to engage in collaborative conversations, including with local governments, First Nations and others, to achieve increased solutions-focused climate action locally; and
• to work together as a community and with local government so no one is left behind.
The Cowichan Climate Hub is part of Canada’s Climate Hub Network which supports over 1200 non-partisan local climate initiatives in 600 communities and regions across Canada with tools and resources to coordinate our efforts to maximize our impact in addressing the climate crisis.
In 2019 and 2020, before coming together as a Climate Hub, fifty+ local groups, churches, unions and businesses sent letters to our five Cowichan governments, asking them to declare a climate emergency and take timely, effective action to meet this crisis. Duncan, North Cowichan, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD), Ladysmith and Lake Cowichan all declared or in some way acknowledged that we are in a climate emergency. This was an encouraging beginning, and follow-up action has been slower in coming, while climate impacts continue to grow. Coming together as concerned citizens and supporting timely and meaningful climate action in our communities right now really matters.
COVID-19, understandably, dominated local government’s bandwidth beginning in 2020. It also showed us that together we can mobilize locally to address an emergency. Meanwhile, the climate conversation has lost some momentum. It’s time to get that conversation back on track and we are starting to see that happening in the Official Community Plan (OCP) renewal processes underway in our region and its cities and towns. This is a critical time for us to demonstrate the broad support that does exist for stronger climate action across all sectors of our communities so more local politicians find the motivation and courage to act with the urgency needed The OCP engagement processes at the CVRD, the Municipality of North Cowichan, and other communities within our region are opportunities for local groups and individual citizens to engage and advocate for the urgent action needed in this climate emergency.
We invite you to join us and others as we build a strong Cowichan Climate Hub by adding your voice to the voices of others concerned about the climate emergency who want to move our communities toward solutions that make a difference. Climate change, and the increasing weather extremes it’s bringing our way, affect just about everything in our lives – food security, housing, our mental and physical health, how we get around our community…
Are you a part of a group that might be interested in joining a local, constructive and collaborative conversation about climate solutions here at the local level? Would you like to be on the Hub’s email list to be kept up-to-date on opportunities for input, information sessions and events. Contact the Cowichan Climate Hub at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. If your group, church, farm or business is ready to join us at the Cowichan Climate Hub, here’s where to sign up.
REQUEST to LOCAL GOVERNMENT to REDUCE GHG EMISSIONS in the BUILT ENVIRONMENT
The Cowichan Climate Hub has written to all five local governments in the Cowichan Valley, asking them to commit to getting fossil fuel emissions, both natural gas and oil, out of the built environment in the Cowichan Valley, starting with requirements for new construction by 2023. Buildings generate nearly 40% of annual global CO2 emissions globally – more than 40% in North American communities. Of those total emissions, building operations are responsible for 30% annually, almost all from space and water heating using oil and gas.
Here below is the Climate Hub’s letter to the CVRD, where the Hub is facilitating a Community Circle on Climate Mitigation and Adapation as part of CVRD’s Harmonized OCP process. The same letter has been sent to the Municipality of North Cowichan, which has referred the request to their Environmental Advisory Committee and staff for consideration, and to the City of Duncan, which has also responded. as well as the Towns of Ladysmith and Lake Cowichan. We’re pleased to see a community dialogue beginning.