Monday June 28, 2021 | GREATER VICTORIA, BC
posted by Island Social Trends
The Capital Regional District (CRD) and its municipal partners are celebrating students across the region for their participation in this year’s Cool It! Climate Leadership Training program.
From January to June, 860 students from 40 classrooms participated in the BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA) program that empowers youth to take action on climate change. The workshops build students’ knowledge of the causes and impacts of climate change before they participate in a four-week challenge to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint at home with their families.
Despite the many challenges facing schools and families this year, students and teachers embraced the virtual delivery of the program and continued to champion climate action and sustainability in their homes and classrooms.
“Young people across our region continue to meet the moment, challenging themselves and others to take action on climate change that in turn inspires us all to do more,” said CRD Board Chair Colin Plant. “My congratulations and gratitude to the students and teachers who kept this program moving forward in an extraordinary year.”
“It is inspiring to see the next generation take action on climate change by learning about what they can do to reduce emissions in their own households,” said Mayor of Victoria Lisa Helps. “They are the leaders that we need to power future solutions to the climate crisis.”
Congratulations to this year’s participants and winning classes at Oaklands Elementary (Victoria), Cedar Hill Middle School (Saanich), Kelset Elementary (regional), and Pender Island Elementary (regional).
“Young people worldwide are speaking up for climate action and we’re delighted to see such a shining example of this in our own community through the Cool It! program. Our thanks go out to all the teachers, students and the BCSEA for their participation in the program and incredible achievements in such a difficult year. Congratulations!” said Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes.
This year, the CRD sponsored 20 classrooms to participate in the regional program, with an additional 10 workshops sponsored by the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria in each of their communities. During the challenge, 860 students committed to 5,568 actions that reduce energy and carbon emissions at home, which will result in a projected savings of 160 tonnes of CO2e annually, if continued for one year.
Since its launch in 2017, more than 170 classes in the region have participated in the program, with support from the CRD and member municipalities. In that time, participating students have reported taking more than 48,635 actions.
In 2019, the CRD Board declared a climate emergency and joined a growing list of local governments around the world promising to take bold action by reducing emissions and preparing for the impacts of climate change across the region. According to the most recent Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory, the capital region community emits approximately 1.8 million tonnes of C02e annually.
For more information, visit www.bcsea.org/Cool-It.