To ensure the District of Saanich stays at the forefront of climate action, Saanich council is seeking public input on an updated climate plan that will guide the district to becoming 100 per cent renewable by 2050.
Saanich committed in September 2017 to becoming a 100 percent renewable energy community and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 per cent by 2050.
The district was responsible for 881,000 tonnes of carbon equivalent (greenhouse gas) emissions in 2015 from its total consumption of goods and services, working out to about 7.7 tonnes per person per year.
To meet its targets for 2050, Saanich will need to reduce its emissions to two tonnes of carbon per person per year.
“Saanich has made great strides in climate action as a community and in municipal operations, but we still have a long way to go to reach our targets,” said Manager of Sustainability Rebecca Newlove.
“Although the climate plan will focus on the role of the municipality, we cannot achieve these targets alone. The plan will build upon the great progress and commitment already seen within our community. We look to our residents, businesses and visitors to help us build the plan together,” she added.
Saanich completed its first climate plan with targets for 2020 in 2010. Since then, climate research has progressed to a significant extent, particularly with Canada’s ratification of the Paris Agreement in 2015.
Signatories of the agreement agreed to take actions in their respective countries that would keep global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius. Saanich’s new climate plan will outline steps to 2050 for the district to meet that goal, and will cover both municipal operations and community energy and emissions.
There are numerous ways in which municipalities can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including sustainable transportation options, sound land use planning and development decisions, increased waste diversion, and promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy use.
To complete the survey online, visit saanich.ca/climateplan. You can also request paper copies of the survey by emailing the Sustainability Division at email@example.com, or by visiting Saanich recreation centres and community festivals on select dates this summer.