January 29, 2020

Saanich releases climate plan, outlines actions to fight climate change

Source Name
District of Saanich

Through the Climate Plan: 100% Renewable and Resilient Saanich, which was just released and endorsed by Council last night, the District of Saanich is proposing actions to improve our quality of life, protect our community now and in future, and reduce local and global risks associated with a changing climate.

“Saanich is committed to our climate goals, but we need help from the community,” said Mayor Fred Haynes. “The time to act is now, which is why we’re moving forward on our goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero, transition to 100% renewable energy, and prepare for a changing climate. The District is aiming to lead by example in our operations, and we’re also helping residents to make the necessary community-wide changes, including incentives, financing, education, and more.”

The plan outlines options for achieving the ambitious climate targets necessary to stay below 1.5 ºC of global warming and preparing the community for the anticipated climate change in response to the latest climate science and increasing public concern. The plan also outlines the priority actions to be initiated over the next two years and the staffing and financial resources required to implement them.

A total of 131 actions are identified in the Climate Plan, and about 40% of those are already underway or could be delivered with existing staff and financial resources. The implementation of the remaining actions will likely require re-allocation of existing resources, new resources, and increased capacity in the organization. This would need to be incorporated into the financial plan and weighed against other priorities.

Plan highlights

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas in the community, followed by fossil fuel use in homes and buildings.

The changes outlined in the Climate Plan will make our lives better now, including improving air quality, making our buildings more comfortable, protecting our local ecosystems, saving money, and growing the clean energy economy. For example:

removing oil tanks will protect our local streams from oil spills and avoid cleanup costs to homeowners
planting more trees will improve our air quality, moderate urban temperatures, reduce stormwater runoff, provide human health benefits as well as habitat for wildlife
building streets that are safe for all users, not just cars, will help vulnerable road users, including children and the elderly
transitioning from fossil fuel to electric vehicles will reduce air and noise pollution, improving our health
Wondering how you can help achieve our community goal?

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 saanich.ca/climateplan.

Read the plan

The plan and resources are available to review here: Saanich.ca/climateplan.

Media contact:
Saanich Communications