Climate plan work well underway

Saturday session calls for public input

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Close to 200 islanders of all ages from babies to elders attended a brunch meeting held at Gulf Islands Secondary School on Saturday morning to hear more about plans to update Salt Spring’s Climate Action Plan.

Members of the steering committee starting with chair Darryl Martin gave short presentations on the work to create “CAP 2.0,” an updated version of the document that was released in 2011.

Organizers explained that with an escalation in climate change and carbon emissions since that time, there is also a need for new targets for action and new ideas to ensure those targets are met. The steering committee is working on strategies to reduce the island’s carbon emission levels by 50 per cent by 2030.

The 2011 plan included a baseline emissions report using data from 2007. It showed that food accounted for 40 per cent of emissions, and on-island transportation for 36 per cent. Improvements made since then include the establishment of a local transit system in 2008 and the switch of more than 200 personal vehicles from gas-power to electric.  Agricultural initiatives included the opening of the Salt Spring Abattoir in 2012, new allotment gardens in Burgoyne Valley and on Rainbow Road and Community Services’ food waste diversion program.

The updated climate action plan will include new calculations of emissions and where they stem from, proposals for making changes and risk mapping that charts the potential for sea level rise, flooding and fire hazards.

Participants of the brunch event had the opportunity to record a short video with their thoughts and ideas, to become part of a larger project. More opportunity for input will come in February with the launch of an online “smart survey,” following the release of a draft plan in January. The final plan is targeted for April 2020.

More information on the project is available at saltspringclimateactionplan.com.

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