Central Saanich Coun. Zeb King welcomes the creation of a new committee designed to help the municipality meet its more ambitious climate change goals. (Black Press Media File)

Central Saanich Coun. Zeb King welcomes the creation of a new committee designed to help the municipality meet its more ambitious climate change goals. (Black Press Media File)

Central Saanich strikes committee to help reach new climate change goals

The committee will also help the municipality implement its new electric vehicle strategy

Central Saanich has struck a temporary committee to help the municipality meet its new climate change goals. Council Monday asked staff to develop terms of reference for the committee.

Coun. Zeb King, one of the councillors pushing for the committee, said it will help Central Saanich realize the municipality’s new climate change goals. It will also provide recommendations on Central Saanich’s electric vehicle strategy.

RELATED: New Central Saanich climate goal calls for 4,800 EVs on road by 2030

Central Saanich last year approved new goals that call on the municipality to reduce its community-wide emissions of greenhouse gases by 45 per cent by 2030, based on 2007 levels. The previous goal was 35 per cent by 2030 based on 2007 levels.

A staff report outlines two areas of priority — transportation and buildings — in noting that Central Saanich would have to increase the number of electric vehicles (EVs) from the current figure of 112 as of March 31, 2019 to 4,800 by 2030.

“I’m enthusiastic about that number,” said King, who acknowledged that EVs will only be part of the solution, noting that the figure of 4,800 helps the municipality conceptualize the larger goal ahead.

While it will be up to the committee to decide whether the figure of 4,800 is realistic, King is confident that the committee will help the municipality along the way.

Ultimately, King envisions the committee would include a variety of relevant parties. “It [the goal] is really big, and we don’t have a lot of leverage, so this would bring together not just people in Central Saanich, but also the wider region,” he said.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com