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General News · 25th October 2010
norberto rodriguez dela vega
There seems to be a bit of confusion in the community of all the work that has taken place in Cortes Island for the important topic of climate change. I apologize for this.

Let me provide a summary of the main steps and outcomes where I have been involved for the past 15 months.

June 2009 - Director Anderson found the availability of Gas Tax funds at the SRD, a good portion of them specifically allocated for Cortes. These funds are part of the Community Works Fund and can be used to pay up to 100% of eligible costs of capital projects or capacity building projects that support the three program outcomes: reducing greenhouse gas, cleaner air and cleaner water.

At that time, Director Anderson invited the community to form a volunteer team to address the greenhouse gas reduction area. Bill Andrews, Mark Lombard, Shane Nelson, and me volunteered and the Cortes Climate Action Team (CCAT) was formed with the specific goals of prepare a GHG emissions inventory, do community consultation to obtain ideas to reduce our emissions, and produce a recommendations report to the SRD.

October 2009 - the CCAT delivered a 12 pages long Cortes Island Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report 2007.

November - December 2009 - Community Consultation events were carried to present the inventory and receive ideas from the community.

June 2010 - a 25 pages long Cortes Island GHG Mitigation Options report was delivered by CCAT. From more than hundred ideas from the community, this report presents the Top 10 Recommendations. These are specific projects (actions) that can be implemented with the primary goal of reducing our carbon emissions. These projects may be funded by the available Gas Tax funds.

At this time, the purpose of the CCAT was completed and the team was disbanded.

September 2010 - the new local non-profit society, Cortes Carbon Solutions (CCS), submitted a 6 pages long Addressing Climate Change on Cortes Island: Proposed draft policies for the OCP report to the OCP review team. The scope of this report are draft policies to reducing GHG emissions, not specific projects or actions for implementation.

The main reason for preparing this draft was to help with covering the provincial mandate of Bill 27 that requires that all local governments should include GHG emission reduction targets and policies in their OCPs.

The glue across above reports are: reducing our greenhouse gas in 4 major areas: Transportation, Buildings and Energy, Food and Forests.

The current members of CCS are Bill Andrews, Richard Andrews, Oliver Kellhammer, Krista Ma and me. At this time, CCS primary mandate and goals are "to set up to identify and implement effective local strategies against human-induced climate change; to reduce the island’s immediate carbon footprint, foster long term behavioral changes and enhance the community’s resilience and self-sufficiency."

The delivery of these reports was timely announced at the cortestideline, and are available for download at the Cortes Carbon Solutions website: under the projects and local initiatives tags.

They are also available at the OCP Review website: under the CLIMATE ACTION tag.

The next step is to proceed with the implementation of the recommended projects by using those Gas Tax funds. The community benefits from some of these projects go beyond reducing our carbon emissions and they provide an excellent opportunity for the whole community to get involved and work together for common goals.

Thank you,