District of Sooke Receives Recognition for Action on ‘Climate Change’ for Third Year
For the third year in a row, the District of Sooke has been recognized by the joint Provincial-Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Green Communities Committee as a BC Climate Action Community (2014 Recognition Letter). This recognition is for achieving Level 2 (Measurement) in the Climate Action Recognition Program, the second of three levels in the program.
As a signatory to the Climate Action Charter since 2008, the District of Sooke has demonstrated its commitment to work with the Province and UBCM to take action on climate change and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in municipal operations and the community.
The District of Sooke completed a corporate carbon inventory and Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) public report for the 2014 reporting year. The 2014 CARIP Report highlights the progress and action being made towards reducing those emissions and meeting the District of Sooke’s Charter goals. CARIP is a conditional grant program that provides funding to Charter signatories equivalent to 100 percent of the carbon taxes they paid directly. The 2014 CARIP grant was $1,749.42 and was deposited in the Carbon Tax Reserve Fund to help fund future projects aimed at reducing GHG emissions in District of Sooke facilities or the wider community. The CARIP reports are available HERE.
To achieve Level 2 designation, the District of Sooke was also required to demonstrate familiarity with the Community Energy and Emissions Inventory (CEEI). The CEEI for the Township shows energy consumption and GHG emissions from community-wide activities in on-road transportation, buildings and solid waste.
Community Energy and Emissions Plan
On October 14, 2014 the District of Sooke endorsed the Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP) which provides a comprehensive, long-term plan to improve energy efficiency, reduce GHG emissions, and foster local green energy solutions in the community. The development of the CEEP was facilitated by BC Hydro and the Community Energy Association via the Quickstart Program. The process engaged stakeholder and public input to analyze, rank and plan for future climate-related efforts tailored to Sooke’s unique circumstances and to accomplish the goals set out in the District’s Official Community Plan (OCP). A CEEP contributes to a smart community plan, more efficient infrastructure, more livable towns and the protection of the environment—showing leadership on multiple fronts and saving all of us money.
The District is working to implement the top priority objectives of the CEEP, as follows:
- Promote home retrofits and demand side management (DSM) programs to reduce energy consumption,
- Improve walking infrastructure (sidewalks connecting central schools), and
- Organics diversion from Hartland Landfill.
Climate Action Charter
The District of Sooke passed a resolution on February 12, 2008 agreeing to sign on to the Climate Action Charter. The Charter recognizes the need for action on climate change and the important role that the Provincial Government and local governments can play in promoting change. By signing the charter, local governments are agreeing to develop strategies and take action to achieve the following three goals:
- Become carbon neutral in respect to municipal operations by 2012;
- Measuring and reporting on the community’s GHG emissions profile;
- Creating a complete, compact, and more energy efficient community.
Some of the goals the District agreed to by signing onto the BC Climate Action Charter are:
- to develop strategies and take actions aimed at reducing GHG emissions;
- to become carbon neutral in respect to municipal operations by 2012;
- to remove barriers such as existing policies and procedures that impede taking action on climate change;
- to encourage infrastructure and a built environment that supports economic and social needs of the community while minimizing environmental impacts.
The charter itself does not specify a reduction target for municipal operations; however, the Charter does refer to other commitments that the Province has made which include the target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 33 percent from 2007 levels by 2020.