September 23, 2020

BC Local Governments Take the Lead on Climate Action

Source Name
Community Energy Association
Patrick Johnstone, Chair of the Community Energy Association and City of New Westminster Councillor announced awards recognizing Climate & Energy Action leadership as part of the virtual
events at the annual Union of BC Municipalities Convention. “Local governments across British Columbia continue to lead the way on reducing climate pollution, supporting good clean jobs for people, and preparing us for the impacts of climate change,” said Patrick Johnstone. “These innovative projects show how we can take action and make progress to build a cleaner, better future together, one that meets our provincial CleanBC climate goals while building our economic recovery from COVID-19. Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees and award winners.”
The District of Saanich won in the Community Planning and Development category for “2020 Climate Plan: 100% Renewable & Resilient Saanich”. This is a comprehensive ten-year planned response to
climate change. In acknowledging the award, Mayor Fred Haynes noted “We understand that effectively addressing climate change requires a multi-year plan and strategy. Saanich has taken a number of early actions to implement the Climate Plan and reach our climate goals, including the adoption of electric vehicle infrastructure requirements for new development and collaborating with regional partners on
the Bring it Home for Climate campaign. The district is also using the One Planet Living framework which provides a guide for living within the resources of one planet and, in May, Saanich joined the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy – an international alliance of municipalities working to fight climate change.”
The City of Powell River won in the Corporate Operations category for its overall corporate climate action strategy and Climate Action in a Small Coastal Town. The City implemented an ambitious set of actions that reduce its GHG footprint, including the adoption of Green Vehicle and Green Buildings policies for corporate operations, installing a REALice system for ice making at the Recreation Complex to reduce natural gas use, and instituting a bylaw that permits the operation of low-speed electric vehicles within City limits. “These actions not only reduced our emissions but also substantially cut our operating costs with a very attractive return on investment. We are proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to future work” said Mayor Dave Formosa. “We are just getting started!”
To acknowledge the leadership shown by local government on climate resilience, a Climate Adaptation award category was introduced in 2019. The Cowichan Valley Regional District has won for “Climate
Risk Assessment Framework for Infrastructure”. The CVRD developed a process to ensure future climate change impacts are considered in long term infrastructure planning. According to Board Chair Aaron
Stone, “This is a critical step for the Regional District’s Asset Management initiatives. This comprehensive approach will increase the resilience of our communities and help ensure sustainable service delivery goals in the face of an uncertain climate future.”
“The virtual awards celebration draws attention to all of the communities taking progressive action on reducing emissions and protecting community assets,” said Dale Littlejohn, Executive Director of the
Community Energy Association. “This local government action is vital to retaining community livability in the context of a changing climate.”
All of the Climate and Energy Action Award nominated projects show exceptional climate leadership. The 2020 nominated projects were City of Abbotsford Green Fleet Strategy, Village of Kaslo Streetlight Retrofit Project (Corporate Operations) and City of Nanaimo Climate Change Resilience Strategy (Climate Adaptation). Accelerating the Transition to Zero Emission Vehicles in the City of North Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver’s IMPACT2020: Community Energy and Emissions Plan were nominated in the Community Planning and Development Awards category.
The awards are organized annually by the Community Energy Association in partnership with the Province of British Columbia, Union of BC Municipalities, BC Hydro, FortisBC, and Real Estate Foundation of BC. For more information on all project nominees, visit the Community Energy Association’s website at
For More Information:
Dale Littlejohn, Executive Director, Community Energy Association
Office: 604-628-7076 Cell: 604-785-5130