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TNRD eyes climate action committee

It would be the first of its kind at the regional government
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The Thompson-Nicola Regional District is looking to launch a new committee aimed specifically at climate action, the first of its kind at the regional government.

Kamloops Coun. Arjun Singh, who is involved in climate action initiatives throughout the province and is a director on the TNRD board, put forward the initiative, which he said was supported during a committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 21.

Singh is chair of the BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council, which consists of elected officials across the province and involves discussion about climate leadership. He was also appointed to the BC Climate Solutions Council, a cross-sector group across the province that advises the government on climate strategy.

Singh said the regional district has supported climate action initiatives in the past, such as funding for electric vehicle charging stations, funding for flood mapping through the Fraser Basin Council and investigating the feasibility of installing solar panels on the TNRD’s Building downtown.

However, Singh said, the TNRD needs a strategic approach, including regular risk assessments, which would allow it to better advocate for resources from other levels of government.

“It gives us a strategic focus on climate action work so we can really understand what we can do to adapt to climate change and mitigate,” Singh said. “That’s not just important for the region, obviously, with the extreme weather we’ve been through, but it’s really important with funding partners.”

Singh said the issue is timely, noting the region has faced extreme weather of late. He said climate action is now legacy work for leaders because they will not see the fruits of their work.

“Really, we have to take care of our future generations,” he said.

Approval of the committee will go to a future meeting of the full board for ratification. Singh expects the committee to begin meeting in April.