Help Saanich shape its Climate Plan

July 16, 2018

Media release
For immediate release

 

Saanich, BC – District of Saanich residents, businesses and visitors are invited to complete a survey to help shape the new Climate Plan. The Climate Plan will guide Saanich to become a 100 per cent renewable and resilient community by 2050. 

Recognizing the need for a meaningful response to climate change, Saanich Council committed to becoming a 100 per cent renewable energy community and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 per cent by 2050. 

“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.” 

In 2010, Saanich completed its first Climate Plan with targets for 2020. Since then, climate research has progressed, notably with the ratification of the Paris Agreement by Canada in late 2015. The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius. The new Saanich Climate Plan will guide actions to 2050 to achieve this, and will cover both municipal operations and community energy and emissions. 

Municipalities have an essential global role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including providing sustainable transportation options; making sound land use planning and development decisions; including building retrofit subsidies; increasing waste diversion; showcasing energy efficiencies and renewable energy in facilities; and providing public education programs. 

Take the climate survey 

Saanich wants to hear from members of our community, including their ideas, the barriers they have faced in living more sustainably and the actions the District can take in order to build an effective climate plan that will work for the whole community. 

Visit saanich.ca/climateplan to complete the survey and to read our backgrounder that details what it means to be a 100 per cent renewable and resilient community. This document also provides some great examples of sustainable actions in Saanich. 

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. 

Learn more

Visit saanich.ca/climateplan to access the survey, read the backgrounder, sign up for email updates, view upcoming events and more. 

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Media contact

Rebecca Newlove
Manager of Sustainability
rebecca.newlove@saanich.ca
250-475-5494 ext. 7118

 

QUICK FACTS 
  • In September 2017, Saanich Council committed to becoming a 100 percent renewable energy community and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 per cent by 2050
  • The community of Saanich was responsible for 881,000 tonnes of carbon equivalent (greenhouse gas) emissions in 2015 form our total consumption of goods and services. That’s 7.7 tonnes per person per year. 
  • To achieve our targets, we need to reduce our emissions to two tonnes of carbon per person per year.
  • To put this in perspective, the typical car emits about 4.6 tonnes of carbon per year and the average Saanich home heated by an oil furnace emits about seven tonnes of carbon per year.
  • However, BC Hydro electricity is already 98 per cent renewable, meaning that if your home is powered and heated by electricity (such as a heat pump) and you primarily, walk, bike, take transit or use an electric vehicle for most of your trips, you’re starting at roughly zero tonnes of carbon per year!
  • What we buy and throw away (such as food and clothing) also counts towards our emissions and will be addressed in the updated Climate Plan.
  • 100 Saanich residents are using solar energy today and this number increases every year.
  • Saanich provides free electric vehicle charging stations to the public and has eight fully electric cars in its fleet.
  • Rebates are available to switch from oil heating to an electric heat pump. The greenhouse gas savings from this upgrade are at least as much as taking a car off the road, and it costs less per year to heat your home after the upgrade.

 

For more interesting facts and information on climate actions in our community please read our Climate Plan backgrounder.