engage2-hhAt each level of government there is a commitment to taking action and incorporating greenhouse gas reduction strategies into the policies, programs and services we deliver to create future friendly community's that are resilient in a changing climate.

All local governments in the region, including the CRD are signatories of the BC Climate Action Charter. This means that they have committed to becoming carbon neutral, to work to create compact, more energy efficient communities, and to measure and report on our community’s greenhouse gas emissions profile.

As well, under the Local Government (Green Communities) Statutes Amendment Act (Bill 27, 2008) each local government is required to include targets, policies and actions for the reduction of GHG emissions in their Official Community Plans.

Municipal Climate Action

Across the region, municipalities and electoral areas have set targets and are actively working to develop local plans, policies and initiatives to reduce energy and emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The following link offers a snapshot of the GHG targets for the region’s thirteen municipalities and three electoral areas with links to their climate action programs and initiatives.

Regional (CRD) Climate Action

The CRD has made a commitment to reducing community GHG emissions and taking a proactive approach to climate adaptation. The CRD is engaged in a number of initiatives which aim to take action on climate change. Read more >>

Below is a listing of the CRD’s board approved guiding documents related to climate action across the region:

CRD Corporate Climate Action

In 2008, the CRD Board set a target to reduce CRD’s operational GHG emissions 33% from 2007 levels by 2020. In 2015, the CRD Board identified two strategic priorities relating to corporate climate action: provide a climate lens for Board decision-making and accelerate corporate mitigation and adaptation activities. 

The CRD has been carbon neutral in operations since 2012. The Corporate Climate Action Strategy identifies seven long-term goals, supported by sub-policies and short-term actions that will achieve the Board’s strategic priorities and the 2020 target, within CRD operations. 

Provincial Climate Action

In 2016, the Province of BC developed a Climate Leadership Plan to move forward with provincial climate action commitments.

The Climate Leadership Team released a report with recommendations for the B.C. government’s new Climate Leadership Plan. Read more >>  

In 2007, the Province of BC introduced to legislation a major step forward in the fight to mitigate uncontrolled climate change. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act (the Act) puts into legislation aggressive targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions throughout the province. Read more >> 

Since its inception, the Act has helped foster emission reduction policies and programs within the provincial government, across Public Sector Organizations (schools, universities, colleges and hospitals) and at local and regional levels of government, including:

  • BC Energy Plan - The BC Energy Plan sets the foundation for a future of electricity self-sufficiency, job creation and reduced GHG emissions. The province will require that all new electricity developments are zero net greenhouse gas emissions which will stimulate investments in clean, renewable energy sources across the province. The Plan aims to put British Columbia at the forefront of clean, alternative energy use and generation. Read more >>
  • BC Climate Planning and Action - This series of plans outlines the strategies and initiatives that are required to create a new green economy for the province. They address many of the challenges and opportunities that exist as a result of the aggressive greenhouse gas reductions targets. This provincial planning sets the course for a transition to a low carbon economy. Read more >>
  • Public Sector Carbon Neutral Action Reports - Under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, all public sector organizations are required to report out annually on their plans and actions taken to reduce GHG emissions.  Read more >>
  • BC Carbon Tax - In 2008, the province passed the Carbon Tax Act which imposes a carbon tax on the purchase and use of fossil fuels in British Columbia, such as gasoline, diesel, natural gas, heating fuel, propane and coal. The carbon tax is revenue neutral, meaning that revenues from the tax are returned to taxpayers through reductions in other provincial taxes. The purpose of the carbon tax is to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions to send a price signal that will, over time, create a market response across the entire economy, ultimately reducing emissions. Read more >>

Federal Climate Action

The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and climate change is the federal governments plan – developed with the provinces and territories and in consultation with Indigenous peoples – to meet our emissions reduction target and grow the economy.

On May 15, 2015, the Government of Canada set a new target of reducing Canada's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. Federal measures, combined with actions taken by provinces contribute towards meeting this target 2030 target. Read more >>

Carbon Neutral 101

The steps involved in becoming carbon neutral are below. The CRD is completing these steps annually:

Step 1

Measurement of the emissions profile. The CRD measures its operational emissions based on a scope provided by the province.

Having a good understanding of where emissions are coming from allow organizations to implement meaningful policies and actions that effectively reduce their emissions.

Step 2

Reduce your emissions. This is the most important and time intensive step.

Reductions can occur through infrastructure investments, behavioural changes, corporate policies, transportation alternatives and much more.

Step 3

Offset or balance. Carbon offsets are investments that take place outside of the organization that reduce local government emissions for the equivalent amount of their emission profile to get them to 'zero' or carbon neutral.

Based on provincial guidance, local and regional governments in BC also have another option of ‘balancing’ emissions by investing in community projects outside of their scope and applying the emissions savings to their own carbon liability.

Step 4

Report. Publically available annual reports are produced and submitted to the province.

Contact the CRD Climate Action Program for more information.