RDCK Climate Actions

Nelson, BC: The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has released their draft climate action plan - RDCK Climate Actions. The comprehensive plan and accompanying Climate Action workbook are now available to the public and the RDCK is seeking feedback from the community.

RDCK Climate Actions is the most recent effort of the RDCK Climate Action Strategy and outlines a path to creating a healthier more resilient region. RDCK Climate Actions centers the rural experience, integrates equity into climate action, and focuses on building a culture that supports action. The actions are organized across 10 pathways – Land Use & Planning, Transportation & Mobility, Energy, Buildings, Resource Recovery, Water, Food & Agriculture, Floods & Geohazards, Wildfire, and Leadership & Operations.

“The RDCK is committed to reducing carbon pollution and transitioning to low carbon operations. RDCK Climate Actions is a four-year action plan focused on solutions that work within a rural landscape,” said Aimee Watson, RDCK Board Chair. “Responding to the climate crisis requires participation from all of us. The RDCK is laying out our pathway to a low carbon future with the ultimate goal of supporting resilient communities, reducing risks of climate change while building healthy and sustainable communities."

RDCK Climate Actions is presented in different forms for different audiences:

  1. Rack Card – condensed summary for public distribution
  2. Public Booklet – engagement, education and action – 34 pages, very visual, invites personal action, provide a summary list of the actions
  3. Climate Action Workbook – deeper dive into all the actions

“We are excited by the latest RDCK climate action effort. The public booklet and workbook represent years of collaborative efforts between staff, residents and climate action experts to make visible the work of the RDCK, and also design a bold plan for reducing pollution and increasing our ability to adapt to the changes we are experiencing,” said Paris Marshall Smith, RDCK Sustainability Planner. “We look forward to sharing RDCK Climate Actions with residents and hearing their thoughts.”  

Community engagement:

Within each pathway are 5-12 actions supported by implementation plans for a total of 96 actions, two-thirds of which were already identified in RDCK departmental workplans. The additional third were identified through consultation with experts, engagement with community and collaboration with staff. Some examples of new actions include:

  • Transition the RDCK corporate fleet to zero emission vehicles
  • Work in collaboration with Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure, Parks, and community groups
  • Integration and implementation of the RDCK Better Corporate Building Policy
  • Develop a RDCK Asset Management Plan with climate resilience lens
  • Support local producers to implement climate adapted agricultural strategies
  • Re-establish Regional WaterSmart Ambassador program
  • Create a Trip Avoidance Policy for RDCK staff
  • Integrate an assessment of climate impacts in RDCK Board reporting


Achieving the targeted carbon pollution reductions will require changes from all of us. RDCK Climate Actions focuses on tangible actions, as well as actions designed to shift our collective culture to prioritize low carbon and adaptive actions. We call this Climate Action Culture. RDCK Climate Actions addresses both our corporate and community Climate Action Culture by considering ways to work together to change our behaviour and build more resilient, connected and equitable communities.

Corporately, RDCK Climate Actions is building a culture that prioritizes climate actions in all RDCK decision-making processes to support behavioural change. Tools include policy, decision-making matrices, regulation, incentives, messaging and learning labs, and formal and informal discussions.

For the community at large, RDCK Climate Actions is supporting current climate action culture through partnerships and investigating new rurally focussed opportunities using tools like learning labs, think tanks, hubs, and pilots.


In April 2019, the RDCK declared a climate action imperative for all orders of the government to apply a low carbon resilience lens to decisions on building construction, energy systems, resource recovery, land use and transportation. This imperative obliges the RDCK to pursue opportunities that will further catalyze the RDCK as a climate action leader.

In response to the Board`s directive, RDCK climate action strategy was drafted to support clear and deliberate action. The strategy includes 3 pillars: 

  1. Inform with good data (reporting and tracking);
  2. Guide with systems to influence, understand and support decision making; and,
  3. Action – bold and responsive to rural communities

Since 2019, the RDCK has been engaging residents most notably through the development of the 100% Renewable Energy Plan (2020) to better understand local climate action priorities. This foundation, in addition to the engagement that was conducted in 2022, informs RDCK Climate Actions.

The intent of RDCK Climate Actions is to identify actions that build on existing successes in our communities and take advantage of current initiatives while advocating for and creating opportunities focused on rural areas through pilot projects, programs, policies, and incentives. As well, RDCK Climate Actions will work with member municipalities to support the reduction of their carbon pollution through collaboration and partnership. The strategy of designing the Plan with a four-year lifespan aligned with the electoral cycle is to ensure the RDCK’s climate action work stays dynamic and is able to integrate new and emerging policies and technologies.

Click here to view a print-friendly PDF version.

The content on this page was last updated March 14 2023 at 6:56 AM