Fresh from the groundbreaking COP 21 climate conference in Paris last December, Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May is coming to Whistler to share her takeaways from the event.
"What matters now is what we do next," May said in a press release announcing the event, to be held at the Whistler Conference Centre on Jan. 21.
"Canada's climate target remains the one left behind by the previous government." May said in the release.
"We have no time to waste in re-vamping and improving our target. We should be prepared to improve it again in 2020, but let's ensure we get started."
The COP 21 agreement — passed by almost 200 countries — pledges to limit global temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius.
While the commitments agreed upon at COP 21 may seem colossal in scope, the event aims to shed light on actions that can be taken on a local scale, said Claire Ruddy, executive director of the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE), which is coordinating the event.
"Obviously those global commitments rely on community action on the ground to be achieved, so we really wanted to build on the momentum from COP 21 and bring it home to the communities of the Sea to Sky," Ruddy said.
As a community, Whistler has already taken on a number of worthwhile initiatives around climate change, Ruddy said, including retrofits at the Meadow Park Sports Centre, composters to divert organics from the waste stream and energy audits for single-family homes.
"There's lots going on, but there's also lots of opportunities for new actions from municipalities and also from businesses and individuals to step up and take action on climate," she said.
For climate-conscious individuals, it's important to pay attention to personal choices around transportation, food sources and energy use, she said.
The event kicks off with a "solutions expo" at 6 p.m., where attendees can learn more about personal and community initiatives they can get involved with locally.
Also on the agenda are presentations from Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton's mayors and from MLA Jordan Sturdy.
The presentations get underway at 7 p.m.
"I hope that everybody finds a personal connection with a climate action that they can take on," Ruddy said.
"I think if we inspire people to engage in climate action and if we give them some usable, implementable, practical tips on doing that, then we will count the event as a success."
Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for "future members."
For $25 you can get a ticket to the event and a 2016 AWARE membership.
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