Written by Rebecca Garlick
ClimateActionWR is searching for people to join our Sector Committees: Transportation, Workplaces (ICI) and Homes (Residential). These sectors represent the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the Region. Members develop ways to aid in mitigating climate change so that efforts towards a reduction in greenhouse gases by 6% will continue through to the 2020 goal.
Joining a Sector Committee means developing meaningful connections with experts, and those who are equally as passionate about creating changes effectively. By attending events and stakeholder meetings, establishing working groups, and introducing others who are like-minded to collaborate, they help make initiatives a success. Committee members are leaders in encouraging sectors to take action to continue to reach their goals, improving community engagement, and establishing new opportunities.
Joan Ang is on the Workplaces Committee, and working for the Region of Waterloo as a Corporate Energy Analyst. Her Sector Committee looks at ways businesses can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. She described assisting businesses depends on the size of the company. Large corporations can access resources and can designate a department for sustainability and reduction of energy, while small companies can be aided with a toolkit to help reduce their energy use. Joan recommends getting involved with a Sector Committee because it is a “great way to learn a lot about climate, climate change, and mitigation” and is a great way to get connected and learn about interesting projects that come out of these committees.
Heather Bigelow is on the Transportation Committee Sector, and currently works for Community CarShare as the Operations Manager. Her sector interacts with a variety of people because, as Heather commented, transportation is a personal choice. This sector committee works with municipalities at different levels, in more of an advocacy role, as they support initiatives that come forward, and explain how different bylaws impact the transportation sector. An example that Heather shared was the minimum parking bylaw, and how the transportation committee suggested removing the minimum parking space number, as this adds more spaces than is needed and puts an emphasis on the use of vehicles. She joined the transportation committee because it is something that she is personally and professionally interested in, since she does not own a vehicle and hopes that she will never need to. Heather recommends joining a sector committee because it is a “great way to get connected with people” that are interested in the same causes as you are, and that it is a great way to make a difference by working with a group interested in “achieving a really big goal”. She feels that greater impacts can be made when you work together. Heather further emphasized that they are “really interested in trying to support and connect new initiatives”, and are looking for any new ideas that they can help with.
Elena Weber-Kraljevska is on the Homes Committee Sector, and currently works for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, as an Energy Conservation Officer. Her sector aims to help homeowners reduce their emissions by raising awareness of incentives, and reaches out to the community through a variety of events and efforts. She explained only a few people are working on their initiatives, and community awareness will be helpful in improving this. She stressed the importance of understanding what you want to achieve and to find the channels to make that happen. Her sector has individuals who are not only experts in the subject matter, but are passionate about climate action. She believes it is important to have people from diverse backgrounds, to connect more people, and bring in new perspectives. Elena urged that if sustainability in our community and a cleaner environment is something that is important to you, that you can do something about it, that anyone can bring their knowledge and expertise to the table, further commenting, “no matter how small the information is, I think it is still very powerful and very important.”
If you feel passionate about working within a group that is driven to make changes, apply by October 15, 2017, at: http://www.climateactionwr.ca/participate/apply/