Saanich enacts accelerated actions in response to the climate emergency

October 9, 2019

Media release

For immediate release

Saanich enacts accelerated actions in response to the climate emergency

Saanich, BC – Saanich Council has declared a climate emergency. A set of accelerated actions have been endorsed to reduce our community's greenhouse gas emissions and improve our capacity to respond to a changing climate.

“We heard loud and clear that our citizens want us to make a real and tangible effort to combat the climate crisis,” said Mayor Fred Haynes. “With the support of the community and an innovative, region-leading response to the crisis we are in a strong place to enact positive change. On Monday we made great strides in this direction, both internally and by empowering our community to make the changes they wish to see.”

In August, Saanich Council adopted new targets for our community greenhouse gas emissions: to reduce emissions to 50% of 2007 levels by 2030 and to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The accelerated actions were endorsed on September 30, 2019 and are set to be implemented over the next six to 24 months.

Saanich is the first municipality in the CRD to bring forward accelerated actions in response to the climate emergency declaration.

The five community actions Saanich has committed to are:

  1. Zero emission vehicles: measures to support a transition to zero emission vehicles, including EV charging infrastructure requirements for all new developments as of June 2020, doubling the number of Saanich-owned public charging stations and promoting and incentivizing electric bikes.
  2. Low carbon heating: converting all oil heating systems in Saanich to low carbon heating systems by 2030, through development of a strategy for mandatory oil tank removal and through the Home Energy Retrofit Municipal Financing Pilot Project.
  3. Energy upgrades: enhanced support for energy upgrades in existing buildings, including increased Saanich top-ups for CleanBC rebates. Saanich residents can get up to $6,050 in rebates when they switch to low-carbon space and water heating and up to $450 for an EnerGuide Home Evaluation.
  4. Trees: doubling the number of trees planted annually in Saanich, to reach 10,000 trees by 2025.
  5. Capacity: building the capacity of Saanich residents to make the changes needed to meet our climate targets.

Five corporate actions demonstrate the District's leadership, including a sustainable commuting program for employees, a climate scorecard in development project reports to Council, a carbon price in business case analyses for projects, developing a fleet strategy to reduce emissions, and using low carbon food in catering for meetings and events.

Council also endorsed creating a new Climate Action Reserve Fund to provide expanded and more sustainable funding to support climate action in Saanich.

Wondering how you can help achieve our community goal?

Read more about the draft Climate Plan and what we are doing, as well as find out what you can do to reduce your GHGs by using the Saanich carbon calculator and checking out the rebates, advice, and more at

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Media contact:
Ting Pan
Manager of Sustainability
250-475-5494 ext. 7118