10 West Kootenay governments have voted for 100% renewable energy by 2050

Fruitvale is No. 10 … who will be 11th?

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Fruitvale City Council

The Fruitvale Council voted to support the transition to 100% renewable energy and will collaborate with experts and residents to develop a plan by June 2022 for the village’s transition. — Photo courtesy West Kootenay EcoSociety

Community by community, the momentum to transition to clean energy is happening in the West Kootenay.

On March 8, the Fruitvale City Council voted unanimously to join the growing number of cities that are committed to transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy no later than 2050. And Fruitvale makes 10 local governments in the West Kootenay to do so.

“I am really excited and proud that our Fruitvale team voted unanimously to be a part of this positive movement to help address climate change,” said Mayor Steve Morissette. “Fruitvale is a very tiny place in the world, but I know if each of us do all we can in our area of influence, we will make a huge difference to the health of our ecosystems and people worldwide.”

The 100% Renewable Kootenays is a campaign of the West Kootenay EcoSociety. The goal is for the Kootenays to phase out fossil fuels and be on 100 per cent renewable energy in all sectors no later than 2050. This transition to clean energy includes electricity, heating and cooling in buildings, transportation and industry.

The idea for 2050 didn’t originate with the EcoSociety. Over 250 communities around the globe are part of this movement. In Canada, cities like Vancouver and Victoria and Guelph, Ontario, have committed to the goal.

“It feels very exciting to hit number 10,” said Natasha Edmunds, organizing director at West Kootenay EcoSociety. “I am inspired by Fruitvale's leadership and perseverance. In only a few months, the Council and community of Fruitvale came together and supported each other in reaching this goal. Hitting number 10 shows that it is possible to connect with community in this digital time, and I hope this will pave the way for other rural communities to join and do good work together.

Aerial view of the Village of Fruitvale.

Even small towns like Fruitvale—with a population of about 3,500—can make a difference by voting for clean energy. — Photo courtesy Village of Fruitvale

“We are organizing in other communities, such as Creston, Salmo and Trail, around this initiative and hope to have more Councils making a commitment this year.”

If you’re interested in learning about the process of getting your community to vote on this clean energy initiative, we’ve written about previous communities’ successes (here and here).

West Kootenay governments to make the commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2050, followed by year adopted:

  1. Village of Slocan, 2017
  2. City of Nelson, 2018
  3. Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), 2018
  4. City of Rossland, 2019
  5. Village of New Denver, 2019
  6. Village of Silverton, 2019
  7. City of Castlegar, 2019
  8. Village of Warfield, 2019
  9. Village of Kaslo, 2019
  10. Village of Fruitvale, 2021
     
Virginia Rasch

Virginia is a writer and editor with KPI Media. She is an avid outdoor recreationist in all seasons and has lived in the Kootenays for over 15 years. With degrees in the natural sciences, she has worked as a tour guide, an environmentalist, a writer, and an editor of books and scientific publications. Virginia now brings her passion for everything green to KootenayBiz. View all of Virginia Rasch’s articles

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