Victoria council has approved a draft version of a Climate Action Plan for the City. (News files)

City of Victoria drafts plan to fight climate change

Transportation, energy use and waste management systems targeted

The City of Victoria hopes to lead the way in the Capital Region and the country for reducing greenhouse gases and fighting climate change.

Council has approved a draft of the City’s Climate Action Plan, which will use $460,000 from the Climate Action Reserve Fund to acquire temporary staffing and to begin priority actions.

The City will hire a “climate and sustainability change agent,” a climate expert and a BC Hydro corporate energy project manager, and continue to fund a Fortis energy specialist. They will also continue a study on home retrofitting, a corporate energy plan, and upgrade the City’s electric vehicle program.

Goals of the plan target different sectors, including buildings, energy, waste management, helping residents prepare for climate-related events or emergencies, and integrating “climate action” across City programs.

The goal of these proposals would be to reduce energy, replace fossil fuels with renewable fuel, and overall, to make the City more sustainable.

For buildings, all new structures would be zero-energy ready by 2030, meaning the total amount of energy the building uses would be the same as the energy it creates. All existing buildings would be retrofitted by 2050 to be more efficient.

For transportation the City hopes 55 per cent of all trips would be by walking or cycling by 2041, and by 2050, 25 per cent of all trips in Victoria would be taken by renewably-powered public transit.

For waste management, the City would seek to partner with the CRD on an industrial composting facility for City organic waste by 2025, and transform all greenhouse gases from collected organic food and garden waste into renewable energy.

Going forward, the City would ensure all new municipal facilities are powered by renewable energy, and by 2040 only electric or renewably-powered vehicles would be used for the fleet.

The final plan will return to council with a funding strategy and program update in June after public feedback.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

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