Saanich releases results of third annual Climate Plan Report Card
March 22, 2023
For immediate release
Community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions down almost 20% from 2007
Saanich, BC – The District of Saanich has published its third annual Climate Plan Report Card, a document summarizing the municipality’s progress achieved towards its Climate Plan targets and objectives.
The Climate Plan Report Card provides a comprehensive assessment of the district’s progress, and outlines the actions taken to reduce emissions and improve resilience in key focus areas such as transportation, buildings and infrastructure, food, and ecosystems.
The Report Card comes as scientists deliver a “final warning” on the irrevocable damage expected from the climate crisis in the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) ultimate part of the sixth assessment report.
The latest Saanich Climate Plan Report Card shows that community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are down 19% from our 2007 baseline. However, this trend - although in the right direction - is not on track with international science-based emission reduction targets, and more action is needed to reach our 50% reduction target by 2030.
“There is much to celebrate in this report card, including very hopeful trends in active transportation and considerable program uptake in our building sector,” said Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock. “We are proud of the progress we’ve made so far, but we recognize that decisive and drastic action is required. We are committed to building on our successes and accelerating action to create a more sustainable future for our community.”
As highlighted in the 2022 Climate Plan Report Card, the District is making important progress, including:
- A 19% reduction in our 2021 community GHG emissions inventory compared with our 2007 baseline (the community GHG inventory reflects emissions in 2021, the most current year for which full data is available. Some of these reductions may be attributable to behaviour changes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic response rather than lasting changes);
- A 21% reduction in our 2022 corporate GHG emissions inventory compared with our 2007 baseline; and
- 71% of actions are on track/achieved in 2022.
Progress has been made in all Climate Plan focus areas; some highlights include:
- 250 multi-family parking stalls were retrofitted with EV Ready infrastructure, supposed by Saanich “top-up” incentives and the CleanBC Go Electric Charger Rebate Program;
- Five kilometres of protected bike lanes were built;
- A Vision Zero policy was adopted for transportation safety; and
- The first 10 battery electric busses were ordered by BC Transit for use in Greater Victoria in 2023. A trial electric bus was in operation in the system in December 2022.
Buildings and infrastructure
- 402 households received Saanich top-up rebates to switch from fossil fuels (oil and natural gas) to renewable electric heat pumps for home heating and cooling (up from 267 households in 2021);
- 73% of new homes built in Saanich 2022 installed heat pumps for space heating and cooling; and
- Saanich adopted zero carbon standards for new construction by 2025.
Food and materials
- Love Food Hate Waste contest on social media had 109 participants sharing food waste reduction tips and over 5,200 views; and
- Saanich initiated a Food Hub Feasibility Study with funding support from the BC Ministry of Agriculture.
- 2,398 trees were planted in urban forest and natural areas;
- Saanich was declared a bird-friendly city;
- 0.75 hectares of new park land acquired; and
- 193 volunteers provided more than 16,000 hours of work in the Pulling Together program, removing invasive species and restoring ecosystems.
- The One Planet Saanich initiative grew to 21 organizations who collectively committed to over 550 sustainability actions;
- 35 Emergency Preparedness workshops were delivered to 652 residents;
- 127 students participated in the BC SEA Cool It Program and w0er 90 students participated in the One Planet Student Challenge; and
- The Online Climate Action Workshop Series was offered for a second year in a row to over 80 registrants.
Leadership in District Operations
- The District of Saanich and the City of Victoria have received the Community Energy Association’s 2022 Climate and Energy Action Award;
- Saanich achieved an A grade from the CDP for Climate Action Progress for the third year in a row; and
- Two new, all-electric pickup trucks were added to the Saanich Municipal Fleet, and five new level 2 EV charging stations for fleet at the Saanich Operations Centre.
We are in this together. The Climate Plan is built on decades of climate work by previous Councils, staff, other organizations, and the broader community. It demonstrates the critical need to transition from fossil fuels (particularly natural gas, oil, diesel and gasoline) to renewable energy and electricity, to use energy and materials efficiently, and to improve our resilience in a changing climate.
“It is clear that we cannot achieve our Climate Plan goals and targets alone, and that we rely on the actions of others, in particular the Province, if we are to succeed,” says Councilor Nathalie Chambers. “We value many of the policy and program changes brought forward by the Province this year, and look forward to further provincial action and collaboration with our community in 2023 to achieve a more resilient and sustainable Saanich.”
Where can you learn more?
Visit saanich.ca/rebates to find out what support is available for your climate-friendly home and transportation upgrades!
Join the Saanich Climate E-Newsletter to stay up to date with all the latest local climate information.
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District of Saanich