The District of Saanich wants to hear from residents as it formulates a plan to deal with the effects of climate change. Black Press File

The District of Saanich wants to hear from residents as it formulates a plan to deal with the effects of climate change. Black Press File

Saanich seeks input on climate change plan

Saanich residents will have a chance to shape the municipality’s new climate plan.

Mayor Richard Atwell said Saanich will not be able to meet its goals unless it hears from residents in encouraging them to fill out a survey.

“Although the climate plan will focus on the role of the municipality, we cannot achieve these targets alone,” he said. “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.”

The plan identifies three goals for Saanich: use 100 per cent renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 80 per cent below 2007 levels, and prepare the community for climate change.

“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 Rebecca Newlove, manager of sustainability.

Saanich completed its first Climate Plan in 2010 with targets set for 2020. Saanich’s new climate plan — adopted after the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change — covers both municipal operations, and as well the community at large, as municipalities oversee many aspects that impact climate change, including land use planning and development decisions, transportation, and building codes.

Saanich was the first municipality to introduce a carbon fund to help pay for low-carbon projects, and the municipality has been able to reduce its own GHGs faster than its initial planning. Recent years, however, have witnessed a reversal of this trend, as Saanich’s GHGs have actually risen in recent years. The public, however, has also heard that Saanich is working on various projects that would help it meet its goals for 2020.

More information about Saanich’s climate action plan is available here and residents can take the survey here.

Paper copies of the survey are available by contacting the Sustainability Division at sustainability@saanich.ca or by visiting Saanich recreation centres and Saanich community festivals on select dates this summer.


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wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com