Progress on Saanich’s Climate Plan Targets

February 13, 2024

For immediate release  

Saanich, BC – Saanich is deeply committed to its award-winning Climate Plan goals and is making progress to achieve them, showing leadership in several areas with initiatives that are a ‘first of its kind’ in B.C. However, we are still not on track to meet our climate targets and it is clear that with 2023 being by far the hottest year on record globally, accelerated action from everyone is needed if we are to address the climate crisis.

The latest Saanich Climate Plan Report Card shows community-wide territorial emissions have decreased by 16% and corporate emissions have decreased by 28% since the 2007 baseline — however these should be at a 33% and 44% reduction respectively to be on track. Consumption based emissions have increased slightly since the 2015 baseline.

Saanich’s 2020 Climate Plan identifies a total of 131 actions to be implemented over the coming years. Of the 99 which were due to be initiated by 2023, 81% are ongoing, achieved, or on track with an additional four actions for future years ahead of schedule; and 19% are currently behind schedule or on hold. This is an improvement over previous years.

Part of the challenge relates to resources. While studies clearly show that the costs of acting on climate change are far less than the cost of inaction, funding is still required.  Inflation has had a big impact on the already considerable costs needed and there is only limited support available from provincial and federal governments, whose funding streams are oversubscribed and involve lengthy periods of time for project evaluation. Saanich continues to apply for and secure grants and external funding, and we partner on multiple programs and projects with other regional and B.C. municipalities, educational institutions, and organizations to maximize efficiencies in furthering climate action.

Another avenue staff will explore involves collaboration with other local governments on the development of a class-action lawsuit against large fossil fuel companies. The goal is to recover a fair share of the local government costs associated with climate change, to support the successful delivery of our climate goals. Council has approved a staff recommendation to examine this option.

Saanich will continue to work diligently towards its climate goals and targets, both in District operations and in the community. Our collective success requires action from everyone including senior levels of government, businesses, non-profit and community organizations, institutions, and residents.

Learn more

Please visit Saanich’s website to read the 2023 Climate Action Report Card.

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Media contact:
Saanich Communications