As seasonal wildfires raged across Western Canada again this year and blew smoke over much of the province, including Vancouver Island, Saanich continues to take its active local approach in trying to create a sustainable community in the face of climate change.
In 2017, Saanich council committed to reaching 100 per cent renewable energy and 80 per cent greenhouse gas reductions in the community by 2050. This is backed by a desire by preliminary survey results that show 93 per cent of Saanich respondents believe Saanich should take action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in district operations.
Ninety-four per cent of Saanich’s climate plan survey respondents said they are working on reducing their own greenhouse gas emissions.
Interested in our #Saanich climate plan? There are 2 interactive workshop opportunities coming up on Nov 29 and Dec 1: https://t.co/9ZcUJjzg8v. Join us! #yyjevents #climate #yyj pic.twitter.com/LUGLVpcbOE pic.twitter.com/dp1Zz2obeV
— District of Saanich (@saanich) November 17, 2018
To reach the next level, Saanich is now inviting residents to a climate plan public workshop on Nov. 29 and Dec. 2.
“Recent international climate science reports show the need for an urgent response to climate change,” said Rebecca Newlove, Saanich manager of sustainability. “From how we respond to sea level rise to how easy it is to get around your neighbourhood, local governments play an essential role in responding to climate change.”
The survey and other feedback proves Saanich residents care about climate change, Newlove said, and how climate action can improve our quality of life.
“At the workshops we look forward to hearing community priorities, ideas, and questions to help shape the Saanich climate plan.”
The climate plan open house and public workshops are at the Gordon Head Recreation Centre, Thursday, Nov. 29 from 3 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with child minding available).
The open house is a drop-in and the workships are one-hour interactive sessions.
Residents can sign up for mitigation (reducing our climate impact) or adaptation (preparing for a changing climate).
Participants in the mitigation workshop will work together to build strategies to reach our community greenhouse gas emission targets using an interactive modelling tool. Participants in the adaptation workshop will review what sea level, temperature and precipitation changes mean for our community and identify local risks we need to address.
The open house will provide information about Saanich’s current greenhouse gas emissions, climate projections for our region and possible climate actions in the areas of renewable energy, transportation, buildings, waste, food and consumption. There will be opportunities to speak with Saanich staff, to complete surveys learn about actions you can take, and to submit ideas for the plan.