Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets

Burning fossil fuels for transportation and industry has increased the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. The accumulation of these gases is causing global climate change that has implications for the weather patterns that affect basic necessities such as reliable sources of water and food. The Regional District of Nanaimo is working with other levels of government and communities to reduce some of the main sources of these emissions.

As a signatory to the Climate Action Charter the regional district has committed to reducing carbon emissions both from their operations and within the community. Complying with the principles of the charter, the RDN works to create energy efficient land use patterns through the implementation of its Regional Growth Strategy and promote green buildings practices through its Green Buildings Action Plan.

Bill 27, enacted by the Government of British Columbia, requires that the regional district also address in its official community plans how it will provide direction and take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electoral areas. To meet this requirement each electoral area official community plan was required to adopt targets, policies and actions for greenhouse gas emissions reductions by May 31, 2010.

The approach of the regional district is to adopt the provincial target which is a 33% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2007 levels by 2020, and an 80% reduction from 2007 levels by 2050. These targets are consistent with the balance of scientific evidence provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that reductions of this magnitude are needed to prevent the most severe effects of climate change.

Greenhouse gas emission reduction targets have been adopted for each electoral area official community plan. The bylaws with targets, policies and actions for the Electoral Areas are:

Achieving these reduction targets means rethinking communities to reduce automobile trips, protecting natural carbon sinks and building energy efficient homes and infrastructure. The regional district's role is to provide the framework and incentives for these sustainable decisions to be made. The OCP amendments tie into the work that is already being done by the regional district through initiatives such as village centre plans, the promotion of environmental building practices and a revised sustainability checklist for the electoral areas.

The section on greenhouse gas emissions in each official community plan may be revised in future OCP reviews using the RDN Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP). The CEEP provides data for greenhouse gas emission inventories for each electoral area and options for more specific measures that may be included in official community plans to decrease emissions. With this information, the targets and actions can be refined and adapted to be more specific to the context of a particular electoral area.