Biz battles for climate change
Kirk Penton - Sep 13, 2018 - Biz Releases

The fight to impact climate change continues, so Okanagan College decided to rally a few troops.

The college held a Global Climate Action Summit affiliate symposium to coincide with the main event that was happening in San Francisco on Thursday.

Building on Progress was the name of the Okanagan College’s symposium, and it brought together half a dozen or so stakeholders to focus on climate action, most notably healthy energy systems and sustainable communities. Organizers also aired a live stream of the San Francisco event on a big screen while discussing specific climate matters in the Okanagan.

“Everything helps,” Community Energy Association chief technology officer Peter Robinson said. “I’m much happier to have events like this than to not have events like this. At least there are people getting together and having the conversations. There’s networking happening. There are discussions happening.

“I wish it was a lot bigger, that’s for sure, but it’s good that these things are happening.”

Business is still going strong for companies like SkyFireEnergy, a solar energy company, but its director of operations, Landon Aldridge, believes there is a bit of a lull when it comes to the public’s interest in putting the clamps on climate change.

“Let’s review this process. Let’s start this process again,” Aldridge said. “There was a lot of talk a decade ago when Al Gore’s movie came out. People not so much got tired about hearing about it, but they tended to glaze over a little bit with climate change talk and maybe lost touch of the threat that it really is. So this is just more or less a restart of that process, and we really have to do something.

“They almost become numb to it over time. The immediacy is just not there, the speed at which we need to change things.”

FortisBC also had a Building on Progress booth, where they showed off some of the initiatives and incentives they offer in an effort to make Earth a healthier planet.

“At FortisBC we’re working really closely to try and help the province meet its climate action goals,” corporate communications advisor Nicole Bogdanovic said. “That’s super important. It’s important to our customers. For example, our customers have shown a lot of interest in solar, so we’re pursuing opportunities in solar.

“We want to be at the table as part of these conversations to make sure that energy continues to be affordable for our customers. We recognize the need to decarbonize, and we’re on the forefront of it, but at the same time it has to be affordable.”

Okanagan College’s Penticton campus will host Day 2 of Building on Progress on Friday.

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