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Climate Action Plan Update

The Town of Sidney is updating its Climate Action Plan. The plan will have eight different focus areas that address the different ways Sidney can take action on climate change.

You can learn more about each of the different focus areas below.

 

Take the survey!

First, we want to say a big thank you to everyone who participated in Official Community Plan (OCP) engagement, providing lots of great initial feedback about climate action in Sidney!

We want to hear from you as we start developing specific actions to be included in the Climate Action Plan. Take the Climate Action Plan survey by December 17th to tell us about what barriers you face to participating in climate action and share your feedback about some potential actions the Town could take. This survey builds on the feedback already provided through the OCP engagement.

 

You can also stop by Town Hall to fill out a paper survey upon request.

 

Eight focus areas of the Climate Action Plan

Transportation

  • On-road transportation (i.e. driving by gas-powered cars and trucks) makes up half of Sidney’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • Sidney is a great place for walking, rolling (like using a wheelchair or scooter), and biking, because of our flat terrain and how compact our community is.
  • For trips too long for walking, rolling, and biking, or when you have heavy things to move around, electrifying how we get from point A to B is a great opportunity to reduce our GHG emissions.
    • You can save as much as $8000 when purchasing an electric vehicle in BC. Find out more here!
    • Electric bikes (or e-bikes) are a great alternative for trips around Sidney that you might find too long to walk and for when you want to carry small loads, like a small mid-week grocery run or a couple cans of paint. They also make tackling any hills or inclines a breeze!
  • Instead of taking a car, consider hopping on the bus – it saves you the need to find parking! Want to plan your route in advance? Check out BC transit’s Trip Planner tool, “Next Ride.”

 

Buildings

  • Our next biggest source of GHG emissions – after transportation – is our buildings.
    • Which buildings? Homes that use oil and natural gas, as well as commercial and industrial buildings that use natural gas.
  • Want to participate in reducing our community’s GHG emissions? Consider improving your home’s efficiency or switching to electric, like installing a heat pump!
    • Not sure where to start or how to get the most rebates you can? Chat for FREE with an energy coach, a real person who can help you navigate retrofitting your home and help you get as much money back as possible.
  • Here’s a snapshot of rebate programs you could benefit from:
    • Federal: Greener Homes Grant (Learn more about eligible retrofits here)
    • Provincial: CleanBC Better Homes rebates (Check out a summary sheet here)
    • Regional: CRD Heat Pump Group Purchase Rebate Code (Learn more about how you could get an additional $500 rebate here)
    • Local: CleanBC Municipal Top-up (Learn more about local retrofit rebates here)

 

Land use

  • The way our community is organized can have a big impact on GHG emissions, especially on transportation.
  • When people are close to their daily needs, like a coffee shop or a grocery store, it makes it easier to choose to walk or roll!
  • Having more homes close to transit has multiple benefits. For example:
    • It makes it easier for people to choose to take the bus if its close by
    • More bus-riders makes it more likely for BC transit to expand the service in our area, improving convenience overall
    • How we plan the land is also important for adaptation, especially as a coastal community vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise

 

Food & waste

  • In 2016, the CRD found that organics (like food scraps and garden waste) made up about 20% of garbage coming into the landfill.
    • Composting organic waste instead of it going to the landfill in our garbage bins can play an important part in reducing GHG emissions from our waste. Want to learn why? Click here.
  • Most plastics that say they are “biodegradable” or “compostable” aren’t accepted in Hartland Landfill’s organic waste collection program (either in your home green bins or green bins in public spaces). It isn’t recyclable either!
    • To learn more about accepted organics, click here.
    • Want to learn more about “compostable” plastic? Click here.
  • If you’re not sure whether your plastic is actually certified compostable, look out for the symbols below.

plastic compost symbolCompostable Plastics Symbol 2

  • Swapping more plant-based foods into our diets is another great way to bring down our GHG emissions. Consider trying out some new plant-based recipes. You could even check out a vegetarian cookbook from the library!

 

Natural environment

  • The natural environment plays an important role in climate action, both in reducing emissions and improving our resilience to risks we could face due to climate change
  • Trees, for example, can:
    • Provide shade, helping keep us cool during warmer days
    • Act like insulation outside our homes by blocking wind, improving energy efficiency
    • Absorb stormwater through their root systems, reducing the pressure on our pipes during rainier days
  • The Town of Sidney has an Urban Forest Strategy (2018) to guide the long-term management of trees on both public and private land in Sidney.
  • An updated Sea Level Rise report for the region has just been released by the CRD. You can find more information here.

 

Town leadership

  • Similar to the greater community, the Town’s two biggest sources of GHG emissions are its vehicle fleet (60%) and its buildings (26%)
  • What is the Town doing about tackling its biggest source of emissions?
    • Two of the Town Hall’s fleet are Electric Vehicles (Nissan Leafs)
    • The Parks department just received its second electric Gator utility vehicle to use for parks maintenance
  • Switching from gas to electric tools for Parks maintenance, including a robotic mower!
  • The Town is investigating options to reduce its buildings emissions through the Climate Action Planning process

 

Infrastructure

  • Rainier weather is one of the risks is expected for our community with climate change
    • We’re preparing for these future impacts by making sure we’re proactive about considering things like future rainier days when planning our infrastructure - like the underground pipes that collect our rain water!
  • When pouring cement for projects like sidewalks, the Town uses CarbonCure cement when possible, which injects carbon into the cement reducing its environmental impact
  • When paving roads, the Town uses warm asphalt instead of hot asphalt which uses less energy

 

Emergency Preparedness

  • Approximately every 3-4 years, the Town updates its Hazard, Risk, and Vulnerability Assessment. This reviews various community risks like earthquakes and major fires, but also risks associated with climate change, like storms.
  • More information coming soon from the Sidney Fire Department!

 

Completed public engagement opportunities

Pop-up open house

On Sunday, October 10th across from the last Sidney Market for the season, the Town had a booth sharing information about climate change, climate action opportunities, and the Climate Action Plan update underway.

 

Background information

Want to dig into some of the information that is informing our updated Climate Action Plan? Check out these reports, publications, and resources: