Highlands Coun. Ann Baird uses a solar dehydrator for low carbon food preservation. Baird serves on the CRD Climate Action Committee and proposed the District and other municipalities participate in a Municipal Survivor Climate Challenge. (Facebook/Gord Baird/Municipal Survivor Climate Challenge)

Colwood in the lead as 13 Island communities compete in climate challenge to reduce ecological footprint

Councils and CRD board have one year to reduce average footprint

Twelve Vancouver Island communities and the Capital Regional District board have signed up to compete in a year-long climate challenge.

The District of Highlands challenged all of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities local governments to the Municipal Survivor Climate Challenge. Each participating council and board will measure their average footprint, using numbers from each individual council and board member. Once the average number is determined, the members will take steps over the next year to reduce their average footprint.

“It’s kind of a fun challenge but it’s highly educational for municipal leaders to see where our footprints come from in our own lives,” Highlands Coun. Ann Baird said when the challenge launched in March.

READ ALSO: Highlands challenging B.C. municipalities to reduce ecological footprint

A memo from Baird about the challenge makes note of a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report says global average temperatures need to keep under a 1.5 C rise.

“The IPCC findings state that global emissions must reduce by 45 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050,” the memo reads. “The good news is that scientists and economists say this is possible. The bad news is that we need to change everything immediately.”

The purpose of the Municipal Survivor Climate Challenge is not only to find out what each council and board’s footprint is, but to also educate, engage the community, and demonstrate community leadership in responding to the climate crisis, according to the memo.

READ ALSO: City of Victoria jumps on board the ‘Municipal survivor challenge’

Local governments will measure their footprint using an online calculator. It asks participants questions about their transportation, electricity use, where their food comes from and recycling habits, among other things.

The calculator then tells the participant how many Earths would be required if everyone lived like them, how many hectares of land are required for their lifestyle and their carbon footprint in tonnes.

The starting numbers for each participating government are in, giving them one year to improve their averages. Not every municipality has listed their ecological and carbon footprints, but based on the average number of Earths required for the municipalities, the City of Colwood is in the lead, followed by Tofino and then Comox Valley.

Here are the 2019 average results for participants of the Municipal Survivor Climate Challenge:

Capital Regional District

Number of Earths: 3.2

Eco footprint (hectares of land required): 5.2

Carbon footprint (tonnes): 8.9

City of Colwood

Earths: 1.6

Comox Valley Regional District

Earths: 2.2

Eco footprint: 3.7

Carbon footprint: 5.9

Village of Cumberland

Earths: 3.2

Eco footprint: 5.2

Carbon footprint: 8.5

City of Duncan

Earths: 2.7

Eco footprint: 3.7

Carbon footprint: 5

District of Highlands

Earths: 2.4

Eco footprint: 4.1

Carbon footprint: 6.9

City of Nanaimo

Earths: 2.9

Eco footprint: 4.2

Carbon footprint: 6.3

District of North Saanich

Earths: 3.3

Eco footprint: 5.7

Carbon footprint: 10.1

District of Saanich

Earths: 2.6

Eco footprint: 3.6

Carbon footprint: 6.6

Town of Qualicum Beach

Earths: 3.3

Eco footprint: 5.7

Carbon footprint: 7.7

Town of Sidney

Earths: 2.5

Eco footprint: 4.3

Carbon footprint: 6.3

District of Sooke

Earths: 2.7

Eco footprint: 3.1

Carbon footprint: 4.9

District of Tofino

Earths: 1.8

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Avoid giving dogs ice cubes, says Greater Victoria vet

Tips for keeping dogs cool and safe this summer

Hungry Hearts Gala goes virtual with new mac and cheese competition

Results will be announced on Facebook live stream event

GVPL staggers reopening of three more branches in Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria

More Greater Victoria Library branches to reopen in August

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Most Read