I would like to commend White Rock City council’s decision to declare a climate emergency, and thank those who put this on the agenda and worked to have it pass.
What seems to be lacking from the story, though, at least as reported in the Peace Arch News, are concrete policy commitments to make White Rock a sustainable place. I am wary because when the federal government declared a climate emergency, they bought an oil pipeline the next day.
So concrete actions should be taken in tandem with the declaration of a climate emergency, or the phrase is meaningless.
Some of the most basic actions we could take would be making White Rock walkable with proper sidewalks on every road, creating bike lanes instead of banning bicycles on some streets, and the preservation of our trees along with reforestation efforts. Cities have a huge role to play in making our built environments conducive to sustainability; we need to make sure the willingness of the council translates into direct action! I hope we see this followup, using the climate emergency as mandate to create a community that is both more sustainable and more enjoyable to live in.
Elise Burgert, White Rock