Highlands Coun. Ann Baird uses a solar dehydrator for low carbon food preservation. Baird serves on the CRD Climate Action Committee and proposed the District and other municipalities participate in a Municipal Survivor Climate Challenge. (Facebook/Gord Baird/Municipal Survivor Climate Challenge)

Colwood in the lead as 13 Island communities compete in climate challenge to reduce ecological footprint

Councils and CRD board have one year to reduce average footprint

Twelve Vancouver Island communities and the Capital Regional District board have signed up to compete in a year-long climate challenge.

The District of Highlands challenged all of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities local governments to the Municipal Survivor Climate Challenge. Each participating council and board will measure their average footprint, using numbers from each individual council and board member. Once the average number is determined, the members will take steps over the next year to reduce their average footprint.

“It’s kind of a fun challenge but it’s highly educational for municipal leaders to see where our footprints come from in our own lives,” Highlands Coun. Ann Baird said when the challenge launched in March.

READ ALSO: Highlands challenging B.C. municipalities to reduce ecological footprint

A memo from Baird about the challenge makes note of a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report says global average temperatures need to keep under a 1.5 C rise.

“The IPCC findings state that global emissions must reduce by 45 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050,” the memo reads. “The good news is that scientists and economists say this is possible. The bad news is that we need to change everything immediately.”

The purpose of the Municipal Survivor Climate Challenge is not only to find out what each council and board’s footprint is, but to also educate, engage the community, and demonstrate community leadership in responding to the climate crisis, according to the memo.

READ ALSO: City of Victoria jumps on board the ‘Municipal survivor challenge’

Local governments will measure their footprint using an online calculator. It asks participants questions about their transportation, electricity use, where their food comes from and recycling habits, among other things.

The calculator then tells the participant how many Earths would be required if everyone lived like them, how many hectares of land are required for their lifestyle and their carbon footprint in tonnes.

The starting numbers for each participating government are in, giving them one year to improve their averages. Not every municipality has listed their ecological and carbon footprints, but based on the average number of Earths required for the municipalities, the City of Colwood is in the lead, followed by Tofino and then Comox Valley.

Here are the 2019 average results for participants of the Municipal Survivor Climate Challenge:

Capital Regional District

Number of Earths: 3.2

Eco footprint (hectares of land required): 5.2

Carbon footprint (tonnes): 8.9

City of Colwood

Earths: 1.6

Comox Valley Regional District

Earths: 2.2

Eco footprint: 3.7

Carbon footprint: 5.9

Village of Cumberland

Earths: 3.2

Eco footprint: 5.2

Carbon footprint: 8.5

City of Duncan

Earths: 2.7

Eco footprint: 3.7

Carbon footprint: 5

District of Highlands

Earths: 2.4

Eco footprint: 4.1

Carbon footprint: 6.9

City of Nanaimo

Earths: 2.9

Eco footprint: 4.2

Carbon footprint: 6.3

District of North Saanich

Earths: 3.3

Eco footprint: 5.7

Carbon footprint: 10.1

District of Saanich

Earths: 2.6

Eco footprint: 3.6

Carbon footprint: 6.6

Town of Qualicum Beach

Earths: 3.3

Eco footprint: 5.7

Carbon footprint: 7.7

Town of Sidney

Earths: 2.5

Eco footprint: 4.3

Carbon footprint: 6.3

District of Sooke

Earths: 2.7

Eco footprint: 3.1

Carbon footprint: 4.9

District of Tofino

Earths: 1.8

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Annual study shows high satisfaction with B.C. post-secondary schools

Study also reveals men tend to dominate higher paying jobs in the trades

Pavement work to close Fort Rodd Hill

Historic site scheduled to be closed to public Sept. 3 to 6

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Cross-examination begins for Oak Bay dad accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Camosun mechanical engineering project solve real-world problems

Showcase included projects that confound conventional wisdom, garner industry interest

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read