Kamloops council to get a look at 'big moves' to combat climate change

A community climate action plan update notes community greenhouse gas emissions come from three main sources: transportation, buildings and solid waste, adding that each “must set a course to achieve zero-carbon emissions by 2050 to be congruent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change direction.”

Cleaner building by 2030. Zero waste by 2040. Zero-emission vehicles by 2050.

On Tuesday, July 14, Kamloops city council will get a look at eight “big moves” to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

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A community climate action plan update will go to a committee of the whole meeting and a climate response paper has been released to the public in advance of that meeting.

It notes community greenhouse gas emissions come from three main sources: transportation, buildings and solid waste, adding that each “must set a course to achieve zero-carbon emissions by 2050 to be congruent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change direction.”

Last year, the city aligned itself with ambitious global efforts to maintain a 1.5 C temperature increase, as set out in the Paris Agreement. IPCC targets also call for emissions to be reduced by between 40 and 60 per cent by 2030 or sooner.

The big moves locally target those three sources of emissions. The city notes that, in addition to emissions reductions actions already identified, the big moves have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 538,000 to 556,000 tonnes of CO2 by 2050.

“This represents a cumulative reduction over baseline (2007) of 82 per cent to 85 per cent, which supports council’s strategic goal on emissions reductions and is within reach of the IPCC’s emissions reductions goal,” the paper states.

It also stresses the options represent a potential path for Kamloops, “should the city choose to adopt a policy that is congruent with the IPCC 1.5C report.” Some of the items would undoubtedly require significant investment on behalf of the city — not to mention cultural shifts by residents — and it comes amid a global pandemic and economic crisis.

Below is a brief synopsis of the big moves from the climate action paper:

• Low-carbon development: By 2050, 90 per cent of residents accessing their daily needs and efficient transit within “an easy walk or roll.” Policy options would focus on making it easier to walk and bike for daily needs, creating more sustainable development standards — such as high levels of the Step Code — and creating boundaries to prevent urban sprawl. Immediate actions could include reviewing neighbourhood and corridor policies, as well as policies for urban containment and green space preservation.

• Car-light community: By 2050, 50 per cent of trips in Kamloops to be active transportation and transit. Policy options could potentially include low-emissions superblocks —including a downtown pilot to convert streets to prioritize walking, cycling, green space and public gathering — prioritizing low-emissions vehicles in certain areas of the city, creating safer cycling and walking networks and incentives for e-bikes and cargo-bikes and secure parking with plug-ins. Immediate actions could include designing and budgeting a complete cycling network, exploring and developing superblock pilot projects, e-bike strategy, urban freight strategy for low-carbon movement of goods and review low-emission zone policy in other B.C. cities.

• Zero emissions transportation: By 2050, 85 per cent of kilometres driven by Kamloops-registered passenger vehicles owners to be zero-emissions vehicles. Policy options could include advocating for stronger zero-emissions vehicle mandates at the provincial and federal levels, developing a robust public charging network, encouraging electric vehicle car-share, taxis and ride-hailing, support for zero-emissions vehicles for transit and school buses and investigate and pilot vehicle-to-grid charging. Immediate actions could include adopting an EV-ready bylaw, planning and budgeting for publicly accessible EV charging and policy review and financing for retrofitting buildings for EV charging.

• Zero-carbon homes and buildings: By 2030, all new and replacement heating and hot water systems to be zero emissions. Policy options could include setting targets for zero-carbon new buildings, encouraging low-carbon new buildings, advocating to the province for zero-carbon building regulations, incentives for energy efficiency, incentives for energy efficient building materials and a retrofit program for existing buildings. Immediate actions could include: developing a residential heat pump incentive program, support and contribution to a regional or provincial retrofit program and review of opportunities for low-carbon retrofit tax incentives.

• Zero-waste/circular economy: Kamloops to be a zero-waste community by 2040. Policy options include: creation of a zero-waste research and innovation centre, collection and processing of organic waste, investigation into biofuel production from local organics for city uses such as for heating of civic facilities or fuel for vehicles, requirements for diverting waste and materials from construction and demolition sites. Immediate actions could include a feasibility study for biogas capture from organics collection and policy review to require or encourage building deconstruction and materials be reused.

• Renewable energy (No target identified): Policy options could exploration of community and neighbourhood scale renewable energy systems and storage, support for research and development, positioning Kamloops as a research, technology and manufacturing hub for B.C.’s low-carbon transition and exploring flexible grid options for resilient and efficient systems to handle load from electric vehicles and buildings. Immediate actions could include exploration of renewable energy opportunities with partners and investigation of renewable energy utility opportunities.

• Zero-carbon civic operations: Strive to reduce carbon emissions from municipal operations by 40 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050. Policy options could include a corporate energy review, phasing out of fossil fuels in buildings and fleets, support for green commuting, internal carbon pricing and a creative community engagement and marketing plan. Immediate actions could include a corporate energy review, committing all new city buildings to zero carbon, transitioning buildings and fleets to electric/zero emissions and incentives for staff for e-bikes and transit passes.

• Healthy urban ecosystem: Increase Kamloops’ urban forest canopy cover to 20 per cent by 2030 and 30 per cent by 2050 to increase forests’ carbon storage capacity and support biodiversity. Policy options could include monitoring tree protection regulations on private and public land, expanding the urban tree canopy targets to include private land, developing native plant standards, ensuring access to public green space with trees and shade, developing local carbon off-setting program linked with biodiversity and conservation and integrating green technologies with infrastructure upgrades on public land, such as rain gardens. Immediate actions could include an urban forest/grasslands and biodiversity strategy, development of green infrastructure street standards and review and update of tree bylaw and policies.

To read the full climate response paper, go online to https://kamloops.civicweb.net/document/118026/Attachment.pdf?handle=5DDE227FECA4487EBD7D4AD83887B2AF.

© Kamloops This Week

 


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