The Lower Mainland of British Columbia is beautifully positioned to step up to become the first region meet Canada's commitment to 1.5 degrees, and Force of Nature's Mission:Transition! Campaign is about making sure we get there. A few key learnings have surfaced as we've explored the astounding amount of research that has been devoted to this topic and real life examples like the Energiewende transition in Germany:
1. Energy transition is not just about the rote replacement of one source of energy over another. It's a systemic change in which renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation play equally important parts.
2. The solutions aren't off in the future; the technology, tools and resources we need to affect our transition are readily available; its the cultural and political will to embrace and implement them that that constitute the biggest barriers to our success.
3. Renewable energy, green buildings, and the transportation sector represent the three biggest opportunities for us to reduce our carbon footprint. Many people are surprised to learn that here in the Lower Mainland, public transportation constitutes our greatest opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint.
4. Exciting as positive campaigns are, it still isn't all just about saying yes to things. Stopping fossil fuel expansion and implementing the alternatives are two sides of he same coin. The Kinder Morgan pipeline alone would facilitate more carbon pollution in one year than Vancouver currently emits in one week.
5. Community organizing is key. Analysis of Germany's Energiewende often focuses on government policies enacted in 2011 but these policy changes were in fact the culmination of 40 years of community organizing! And it didn't stop there... now that the right policies are in place, communities continue to play a leading role in implementing solutions on a local level.