Under a business-as-usual scenario, Saanich will reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions responsible for sea-level raising climate change by nine per cent in 2050 — well short of its stated goal of 80 per cent.Black Press File

Academic study gives Saanich’s climate action plan middling mark

Saanich ranks 31st in a survey of 63 Canadian municipalities, Victoria 33rd.

A new academic study assessing the quality of municipal climate change plans places Saanich and Victoria in the middle of pack.

The study published in the journal Climatic Change ranks the respective plans of Saanich and Victoria 31st and 33rd in terms of overall quality. Kingston, ON., topped the list of 63 surveyed communities, with New Westminster, B.C., ranking last.

RELATED: ‘Bit frightening:’ Study finds most Canadian cities fail on climate change plans

The study — which describes itself as “a first attempt at assessing the quality of Canadian municipal climate change plans” — assesses plans against 46 indicators spread across eight large categories of quality characteristics: fact base, goals, policies, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, inter-organizational coordination, participation, and plan organization and presentation.

The report evaluated Saanich’s Climate Action Plan dated 2010 and Victoria’s Community Energy and Emissions Plan dated 2012.

Saanich’s Climate Action Plan receives generally strong marks in all but two areas: monitoring and evaluation (which the report defines as the “systemic framework” to tracking implementation activities and assessing their outcomes); and participation (which focuses on how the public and various stakeholder groups participate). Compared to Saanich, Victoria scores worse in the categories of fact base, goals, policies, coordination, and organization and presentation, while ahead in the other categories.

Overall, the report finds that Canadian municipalities “prioritize” climate change mitigation over adaption; implementation, monitoring and evaluation appear as relatively aspects of municipal climate change plans; and Canadian municipalities appear to have given insufficient consideration to public participation.

RELATED: Saanich well off mark when it comes to meeting goals of climate plan

In other words, Canadian municipalities have ambitious goals when it comes to mitigating climate change, but struggle to implement and track those goals, while failing to involve the public. The paper also chides Canadian communities for a lack of specificity, when it comes to the local effects of climate change.

“Almost all plans failed to include an assessment of the municipality’s vulnerability to specific climate change impacts,” it reads.

The report written by Dave Guyadeen of Guelph University and Jason Thistlewood and Daniel Henstra of the University of Waterloo appears as Saanich council Monday receives an update on efforts to update Saanich’s climate action plan.

It calls for an 80 per cent reduction in both corporate and community-wide greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 2050 below 2007 levels as Saanich seeks to become a 100 renewable energy community by 2050.

As of this writing, Saanich will fall well short of this goal. If current policies continue, Saanich will reduce GHGs by nine per cent by 2050.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

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

Just Posted

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters protest police action in Victoria

Protesters say at least 14 were arrested by police overnight

High-rise hotel proposed for downtown Victoria location

A 15-storey hotel could be coming to the Fort and Blanshard streets area

Consumer bankruptcies down in Greater Victoria

More residents are making alternative arrangements to settle their debts

Restrictions on unrelated occupants dominates Saanich council meeting

Saanich council sends issue of unrelated occupancy limits to public hearing

Advocates call hospital parking fees a ‘shakedown’ after learning most Island tickets are waived

Victoria General and Royal Jubilee hospitals among the most ticketed on the Island

VIDEO: Trudeau insists Iran respect families’ wishes when it comes to burials

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 were killed

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Councillor resigns in Revelstoke after colleagues approved 67% raise

Council approved a 134 per cent raise for the mayor of Revelstoke

Rolled-over dairy truck in Abbotsford lost 40,000 litres of milk

Truck removed Sunday, Jan. 19, with specialized equipment to upright vehicle

Most Read