Central Saanich council has upped the municipality’s climate change goals. The district now plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 based on 2007, up from the previous goal of 35 per cent. (Black Press Media File)

Central Saanich council has upped the municipality’s climate change goals. The district now plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 based on 2007, up from the previous goal of 35 per cent. (Black Press Media File)

New Central Saanich climate goal calls for 4,800 EVs on road by 2030

Central Saanich wants to reduce GHGs by 45 per cent by 2030, up from 35 per cent

A Central Saanich councillor welcomes efforts to adopt new climate change targets in warning against the cost of non-action.

“We only have 10 years to meet our new interim target of 45 [per cent] reductions in [community greenhouse gas emissions] and it will take a lot of brainpower to come up with ideas, so I’m not wasting any time,” says Coun. Zeb King, after Monday’s council meeting. Central Saanich had previously aimed to reduce GHGs 35 per cent by 2030 based on 2007 levels.

Central Saanich looked at revising its goals after a motion to that effect and declaring a climate emergency in July 2019. The new goal itself responds to new scientific findings from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Published in late 2018, the report urged tougher measures. Specifically, it said global net GHG emissions will need to decline by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030.

A report prepared for council says aligning Central Saanich’s targets with the IPCC report would be “a major step towards climate action” in the wake of the municipality’s climate emergency declaration.

So how does Central Saanich aim to reduce GHGs by an additional 10 per cent? The report outlines two areas of priority: transportation and buildings.

RELATED: Climate change chosen as Canadian Press News Story of the Year for 2019

RELATED: UN report on global warming carries life-or-death warning

The number of electric vehicles (EV) on the road in the District would have to jump to 4,800 by 2030 from the current figure of 112 as of March 31, 2019, according to the report, which also outlines several steps to increase the number of EVs on the road. They include measures to enhance the private and public charging infrastructure. The new target figure means that 25 per cent of all vehicles in Central Saanich would have to be electric by 2030.

The goals are equally ambitious when it comes to the municipality’s buildings. According to the report, buildings account for 35 per cent of community-wide emissions. If Central Saanich wants to reach the new targets, 35 per cent of homes and businesses need to switch to zero emission heating systems and reduce their energy use by 50 per cent by 2030. This figure means that 140 homes and three per cent of commercial floor would need to be renovated annually, according to the report, which also outlines a number of measures towards that goal.

RELATED: Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

RELATED: Central Saanich mayor wants to electrify vehicle fleet

Whether residents will follow the municipality remains up in the air.

King acknowledges that the municipality has limited means to directly achieve these goals. “It’s hard to compel people to buy EVs,” he said. This said, staff are are already working on a comprehensive report on EV-ready requirements, said King, adding that he would like to see a select committee of experts to brainstorm ways to increase transportation electrification.

King acknowledged that the goals are ambitious. But if they are also difficult to reach, they are also necessary, King suggested.

“Science doesn’t really care if you don’t like it,” he said. “We have to realize that it is not necessarily easy, but not doing it doesn’t make it easier. We also have to realize that there is a cost for not taking action.”

The report before council also includes two notable statistics concerning carbon neutrality. If Central Saanich wanted to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, it would have to plant 3.4 million trees to offset the entirety of its community GHG emissions estimated at 75,000 tons. Alternatively, it could pay $1.88 million per year as an offset.

Ultimately, the report casts doubt on the municipality’s goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2030, while noting that the new goals will put Central Saanich on the path towards carbon neutrality by 2050.

Council approved the accelerated goals unanimously with Couns. Niall Paltiel and Chris Graham absent.

Previous debates on climate changes have not always been free of acrimony and King said he hopes the unanimous support signals enthusiasm and support for the new goals.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Hot rods, rad rods, muscle and sports cars spanning the decades made their way in a parade from North Saanich to Victoria on June 19. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Classic cars cruise Saanich Peninsula in advance of Father’s Day

Retirement home residents from North Saanich to Victoria treated to a spectacle of hot rides

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read