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City of Chilliwack Climate Action Plans Receive Approval

Chilliwack – Lost in the scrutiny of the Tuesday (August 16) Council Decision for the YMCA to manage the two major recreation centres and Rotary Pool, was an environmental package.

City Council approved the City’s updated Corporate and Community Climate Action Plans. These two plans outline greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for the City and the community, as well as strategies to move forward.

The Community Climate Action Plan aims to reduce emissions from buildings, transportation, and waste management, while protecting and enhancing natural areas, in order to cut emissions 40% by 2030 and 100% by 2050, relative to 2007 levels. The Plan contains a range of actions that complement provincial and federal emissions reduction initiatives to help Chilliwack become a clean, carbon neutral community by 2050. The Corporate Climate Action Plan focuses on decreasing emissions by 50% from the City’s fleet vehicles, facilities, and operations by 2030, and 100% by 2050, from 2010 levels.

“Both the Corporate and Community Climate Action Plans build on the City’s progress to date reducing emissions from our organization and from the community, but we know there is more work to do,” said Mayor Popove. “These plans will guide the City’s next steps as we work to make sure that Chilliwack continues to be a resilient, healthy community well into the future.”

In 2011/12, the City adopted Integrated Air Quality, Energy and Greenhouse Gas Action Plans to address the related issues of air quality and climate change. At that time, the plans provided a baseline of energy use and resulting emissions, set reduction targets, and identified actions to support those targets. After ten years, the plans required a review and updates.

To update the plans, the City conducted a consultation process that involved staff, stakeholders, and the public. Public consultation focused on actions that can be taken regarding buildings and transportation, as the largest contributors to core community emissions. Overall, consultation found that there is a high level of community concern about climate change and strong support for the proposed emissions reduction targets and initiatives. Over 70% of survey respondents were extremely or moderately concerned about climate change and over 75% agreed with the emissions reduction targets and timelines or were in favour of achieving the reductions even faster.

The City of Chilliwack signed on to the BC Climate Action Charter in 2007, and has been completing a variety of projects every year to improve air quality, conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some actions to date include expanding the transit system and bicycle network, compostable waste diversion, replacing street lights with LEDs, and electric vehicle charging stations. More information about the City’s climate actions is available at chilliwack.com/climatechange.

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