Heat prompted air quality alert on Aug. 17, 2020 for the Fraser Valley. (Chilliwack Progress file)

Heat prompted air quality alert on Aug. 17, 2020 for the Fraser Valley. (Chilliwack Progress file)

‘We know there is more work to do,’ says Chilliwack mayor on climate change

Council approved climate plans to make Chilliwack ‘a clean, carbon neutral community’ by 2050

A high level of community concern about climate change was detected in Chilliwack’s recent consultations on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

City of Chilliwack’s climate action plans were approved at the Tuesday council meeting.

“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 Ken Popove in a release. “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.”

What the city has done so far includes expanding the transit system and bicycle network, introducting compost waste diversion, replacing street lights with LEDs, and installig electric vehicle charging stations.

When asked in a city survey, more than 70 per cent of respondents said they were “extremely or moderately concerned” about climate change, according to the city press release.

RELATED: Consultation on ways to mitigate climate

More than 75 cent agreed with the targets and timelines to reduce GHG or were in favour of achieving the reductions even faster through the updated plans. Both climate plans outline GHG emission reduction targets for the City and the community, as well as strategies to move forward.

The community-focused plan aims to reduce emissions from buildings, transportation, and waste management, while protecting and enhancing natural areas, in order to cut emissions 40 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050, relative to 2007 levels. It 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 per cent from the City’s fleet vehicles, facilities, and operations by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2050, from 2010 levels.

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 10 years, the plans needed updates.

Consultation focused on actions that can be taken with regard to buildings and transportation, as the largest contributors to core community emissions.

Chilliwack signed on to the BC Climate Action Charter in 2007, completing a variety of projects every year to improve air quality, conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More information go at chilliwack.com/climatechange.

RELATED: Chilliwack teen asks city to plan for climate change

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