Under a business-as-usual scenario, Saanich will reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions responsible for sea-level raising climate change by nine per cent in 2050 — well short of its stated goal of 80 per cent.Black Press File

Academic study gives Saanich’s climate action plan middling mark

Saanich ranks 31st in a survey of 63 Canadian municipalities, Victoria 33rd.

A new academic study assessing the quality of municipal climate change plans places Saanich and Victoria in the middle of pack.

The study published in the journal Climatic Change ranks the respective plans of Saanich and Victoria 31st and 33rd in terms of overall quality. Kingston, ON., topped the list of 63 surveyed communities, with New Westminster, B.C., ranking last.

RELATED: ‘Bit frightening:’ Study finds most Canadian cities fail on climate change plans

The study — which describes itself as “a first attempt at assessing the quality of Canadian municipal climate change plans” — assesses plans against 46 indicators spread across eight large categories of quality characteristics: fact base, goals, policies, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, inter-organizational coordination, participation, and plan organization and presentation.

The report evaluated Saanich’s Climate Action Plan dated 2010 and Victoria’s Community Energy and Emissions Plan dated 2012.

Saanich’s Climate Action Plan receives generally strong marks in all but two areas: monitoring and evaluation (which the report defines as the “systemic framework” to tracking implementation activities and assessing their outcomes); and participation (which focuses on how the public and various stakeholder groups participate). Compared to Saanich, Victoria scores worse in the categories of fact base, goals, policies, coordination, and organization and presentation, while ahead in the other categories.

Overall, the report finds that Canadian municipalities “prioritize” climate change mitigation over adaption; implementation, monitoring and evaluation appear as relatively aspects of municipal climate change plans; and Canadian municipalities appear to have given insufficient consideration to public participation.

RELATED: Saanich well off mark when it comes to meeting goals of climate plan

In other words, Canadian municipalities have ambitious goals when it comes to mitigating climate change, but struggle to implement and track those goals, while failing to involve the public. The paper also chides Canadian communities for a lack of specificity, when it comes to the local effects of climate change.

“Almost all plans failed to include an assessment of the municipality’s vulnerability to specific climate change impacts,” it reads.

The report written by Dave Guyadeen of Guelph University and Jason Thistlewood and Daniel Henstra of the University of Waterloo appears as Saanich council Monday receives an update on efforts to update Saanich’s climate action plan.

It calls for an 80 per cent reduction in both corporate and community-wide greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 2050 below 2007 levels as Saanich seeks to become a 100 renewable energy community by 2050.

As of this writing, Saanich will fall well short of this goal. If current policies continue, Saanich will reduce GHGs by nine per cent by 2050.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police arrest suspect in arson spree near Camosun College Lansdowne campus

Calgary man in police custody waiting for a tele-bail hearing, constable says

VIDEO: Man breaks up Saanich road rage fight

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road

Saanich Peninsula Hospital to host new COVID-19 testing facilities

It is not clear yet when they will go into action

Three impaired drivers stopped in Saanich over one weekend

Drivers receive 90-day driving prohibition, month-long vehicle impound

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

Couple celebrates 61st anniversary through Vancouver Island seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ entertains home-bound kids in Cowichan Bay

Alora Killam, 16, played the part in musical two years ago

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Most Read