Langley – The Township of Langley has earned national accolades for its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within its own operation, and is now close to achieving a similar goal within the community.
In early September, the Township was congratulated by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for achieving Milestones 2, 3, and 4 in the community stream of its Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program.
The PCP program, a partnership between the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, provides municipalities with a five-milestone framework for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from both their corporate operations and within the community by setting goals and encouraging effective initiatives.
“GHG emissions contribute to climate charge and are harmful to the environment,” said Township of Langley Community Energy Manager Josh Power. “This valuable program helps municipalities be aware of the emissions it produces, make a plan to reduce them, and track progress to produce tangible results.”
The Township achieved Milestones 2 through 4 of the community program by setting an emissions reduction target and creating and implementing a Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP) to establish strategies for reducing community energy use and GHG emissions.
The plan was created in 2010, and over the past several years, the Township has put the strategies into action by developing voluntary incentive programs for new and existing buildings and integrating energy and GHG guidelines into neighbourhood plans. The Township has expanded its electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and now has full-time staff who oversee sustainability initiatives.
“The Township of Langley has shown bold leadership in addressing these important issues,” FCM President Jenny Gerbasi said in a letter to Township Mayor Jack Froese and members of Council. “Cost-effective, community-based projects offer the very best opportunities for taking action on climate change. Your efforts, along with those of a growing number of PCP participants, are making a significant contribution to reducing Canada’s GHG emissions.”
“According to the PCP program, local action plans should be living documents that are revised as new information, ideas, and circumstances evolve,” Power said. In 2018, after a thorough review of the local action plan, Township staff will consider an update to the CEEP to continue the Township’s progress on reducing community energy use and GHG emissions.
It is expected that the Township will complete the fifth and final PCP community milestone next year.
Langley Township achieved its fifth and final milestone in the PCP corporate program in February 2016 through projects such as greening its municipal fleet and installing a geothermal system at the Aldergrove Water Treatment Plant.