Sidney is proposing to hire a climate action coordinator, albeit on a temporary basis, to help deal with the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels (Black Press Media File).

Sidney looks to hire climate action coordinator a decade after idea first appeared

The total budget for the temporary position starting April 2021 is $90,000

Sidney is moving towards joining other municipalities in hiring a climate action coordinator, but only on a temporary basis, at least for the time being, and well after the municipality first considered the idea.

Andrew Hicik, Sidney’s director of corporate services and chief financial officer, said the proposed position of climate action coordinator would be expected to “kick start” multiple climate change action and adaptation initiatives, starting on April 1, 2021, for two years with total funding of $90,000.

Hicik said the position would initially be a term position in anticipation of the completion of Sidney’s Official Community Plan review. Current staff may be free to carry on the work of the coordinator at that time, he said.

“However, if the early returns from the term position are positive, and [council] decides at the time to keep the momentum going, it may potentially be extended to supplement the work done by other [municipal] staff,” he said.

RELATED: Sidney’s adaptation planning change for rising sea level still in ‘infancy’

RELATED: MLA calls for coordination among Peninsula jurisdictions on climate change mitigation

Sidney’s move comes after council declared a climate emergency last year. Sidney’s new strategic plan approved late last year also include multiple goals around climate change. Chief Administrative Officer Randy Humble said last October that Sidney’s adaptation planning in the face of rising sea levels caused by climate change is in “its relative infancy,” but also promised additional steps.

Sidney, in its 2010 climate action plan, plans to reduce community-wide emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 30 per cent below 2007 levels by 2030 and 80 per cent below 2007 levels by 2050.

Hicik said in a report received by councillors last week that it “simply is not possible to make any meaningful progress on these goals” without additional, specialized resources. “While some members of current staff have strong environmental principles and knowledge, everyone is already fully immersed in their own work, and cannot leave it behind to change focus to new environmental initiatives,” he said.

Hicik’s report also said Sidney’s 2010 climate action plan called on the municipality to “investigate the potential for establishing” for such a position.

“Unfortunately, this was not pursued at the time, as it was believed to be premature and too costly to have a dedicated position for this function,” he said. “We will continue to monitor the availability of grant programs to partially or fully fund this position; however, at this time, no such program exists.”

The same report also lists some of the initiatives that a future climate action coordinator could undertake. They include reviewing Sidney’s climate action plan and tree inventory, research issues around electric vehicles, coordinate multimodal infrastructure planning, help with shoreline climate adaptation and investigate solutions around storm water management among other initiatives. An international report prepared by more than 100 scientists from more than 30 countries and released late last year says the global sea level is currently rising more than twice as fast — 3.6 mm per year — than it did during the 20th century, during which the global sea level rose 15 centimetres, with the rate of rise accelerating.“Sea level will continue to rise for centuries,” it reads. “It could reach around 30-60 cm by 2100 even if greenhouse gas emissions are sharply reduced and global warming is limited to well below 2C, but around 60-110 cm if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase strongly.”

While the report does not directly address the impacts of rising seal levels on the Saanich Peninsula, it notes with “very high confidence” that “[risk] related to sea level rise (including erosion, flooding and salinization) is expected to significantly increase by the end of this century along all low-lying coasts in the absence of major additional adaptation efforts.”


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Climate changeemission targets

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

Just Posted

‘Not the monster everyone thinks’: Sister of human-trafficking suspect speaks out

Trish Kelly’s brother was one of four Vancouver Island residents arrested last month in Saskatchewan

UPDATED: Indigenous youth occupy B.C. Legislature steps amidst court injunction

Police negotiating with people gathered in support of some of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Dump truck driver triggers three-car crash in Langford

A driver of a dump truck caused a three-car fender-bender on Jacklin Road on Feb. 24

Crews respond to house fire in Langford Monday night

Fire near Glen Lake Road and Haslam Avenue

Oak Bay ups deer management budget to $96,100 for 2020

Provincial grant approved for deer contraception program

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read