Banff High School student Emma Dales inspired me to work harder on climate change policy when she wrote Banff council asking us to "lessen our environmental impact."
She continued: "In school we are taught to speak up about issues and voice our opinions and I intend to do so."
I hear Emma loud and clear. I want to hear from community and business members, Parks officials, faith leaders, and seniors, and other youth like Emma.
In my 27 years of encouraging our community to change course because of the harm of global heating, I've never felt more pumped, convinced that by working together we can shift.
This is because of three things:
First, in our town, our mayor has shown leadership by shaping new energy policy, even investing in solar panels on her own roof. The Town's administration has begun monitoring and managing a year-by-year reduction in CO2 pollution.
Second, the market and economics have changed. One of Alberta's leading energy suppliers, Greengate Power, is building a solar farm near Vulcan where the price of electricity will likely be 5.6 cents per kWh. Currently, for coal-fired electricity, I pay a business rate of 6.4 cents per kWh, which is 15 per cent higher. Solar wins.
Thirdd, in the local business community, prominent business operators told me that they'd like to combine efforts to invest in renewable energy supply. This makes good sense. Banff can be wind- and solar-powered.
Visitors to our National Parks expect it. Together we can change course.
The moral courage of youth leaders like Emma Dales, and others around the world, should lead us to act.
Peter J. Poole,
Councillor for the Town of Banff