As Sidney tries to cut its community-wide emissions of greenhouse gas responsible for climate change, the municipality is asking residents to help them identify barriers between them and a lifestyle with lower emissions.
Results of the online survey, which launched Nov. 18 and is open until Dec. 17, will help municipal staff identify which incentives and programs could make the greatest difference for residents.
Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith said individual residents can make measurable differences in reducing Sidney’s greenhouse gas emissions. Past public engagement has shown that many residents concerned about climate change are ready to take action. “Through this survey we can better understand if there are ways the (municipality) can help people take steps in that direction,” he said.
Feedback will help inform the municipality’s climate action plan currently undergoing revisions. Staff said the plan will include an overview of local climate risks (including drought and increased rain) while addressing ways the municipality can improve resilience. “It will also outline ways the (municipality) and community members can participate in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, focusing on eight different areas, such as transportation, buildings, natural environment, and infrastructure,” staff said in a release.
The survey (which can be completed in seven minutes) opens more than a month after Sidney’s chief administrative officer said a lot of work remains ahead for the community to reach the carbon emission goals in the municipality’s climate action plan.
“Since community-wide (greenhouse gas) emissions decreased 9.4 (per cent) from 2007 to 2018, it would take an approximate 40 (per cent) reduction to meet the 50 (per cent) target by 2030, and an approximate 90 per cent reduction by 2050 to become carbon neutral,” said Randy Humble in an emailed statement. This said, he believes reductions are achievable with community-wide effort.
On Oct. 12, council received and considered two reports dealing with climate change and the municipality’s approach to it. The second of which noted the community has shown support for the following emissions reductions during the current OCP engagement process: a 50 per cent reduction in community GHGs below 2007 levels by the year 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.
The current OCP calls for a reduction of 15 per cent below 2007 levels by the year 2020; 30 per cent below 2007 levels by 2030; and 80 per cent below 2007 levels by the year 2050.
The survey can be found at surveymonkey.com/r/573ZH75.
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