Plans by Sidney for an annual reserve fund supporting climate action projects in the community has cleared a major hurdle.
Council gave three readings Monday to a bylaw governing financial reserves in establishing a new climate action reserve fund which will start with $87,331 coming from the now-defunct Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) program, a provincial rebate initiative for the carbon tax paid by the municipality.
Councillors had first approved the idea in October. According to a staff report, the reserve fund intends to establish the annual amount going toward climate action projects, and identify criteria for projects. Council will decide on the first aspect during upcoming budget discussions, with staff having earlier recommended a figure of $50,000 per year.
The funding will go toward projects designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from transportation and buildings, which account for 56 per cent and 29 per cent of the community’s GHG emissions respectively, according to a staff report.
The fund seeks to support projects identified by the municipality’s climate action plan currently undergoing an update, due to be completed in the spring. According to a staff report, the community has shown support for tougher reduction scenarios, under which community-wide GHG emissions would drop 50 per cent below 2007 by 2030. Another goal sees Sidney becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The community would have to reduce its greenhouse gases by about 40 per cent between now and 2030 to meet its first goal, and 90 per cent to reduce its second goal of carbon neutrality.
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