Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Climate Action and Sustainability in Surrey

From Anna Mathewson, Surrey's Manager of Sustainability:

SURREY COUNCIL LAST NIGHT APPROVED THE COMMUNITY CLIMATE ACTION STRATEGY, both a mitigation and adaptation plan that has been a mammoth effort to complete over two and a half years. So many people were involved in this, a real group, collaborative effort that to me typifies how well we work together internally within the city.

You can find it .

I think the most important thing about this strategy is that it outlines how one of BC's largest and fastest growing cities plans to tackle climate change through its land use, buildings, district energy, waste and transportation.

Surrey's Community Climate Action Strategy proposes actions that will make Surrey more resilient in the face of climate change impacts, and is made up of two complementary plans:

* The Community Energy Emissions Plan (CEEP), which provides a guide to reduce community energy spending and greenhouse gas emissions, and

* The Climate Adaption Strategy, which identifies how the City may be vulnerable to climate change impacts and proposes actions to mitigate risk and cost.

Surrey's innovative approach brings the two plans forward together and identifies the important cross-linkages between climate mitigation (GHG reduction) and adaptation actions.

Strategic directions in the Community Energy and Emissions Plan include the following:

* Complete, compact, connected corridors supporting a high quality rapid transit network and low carbon district energy systems;

* A framework to meet steadily rising building energy standards through capacity building efforts, the exploration of local incentives, and connecting the development community with existing incentives available for energy efficiency;

* Rapid transit development, improved bus service, and walking and bike infrastructure around and between Town Centres and the City Centre;

* A suite of green car strategies; and

* Initiatives that build on the City's Rethink Waste program.

Strategies have been developed in the CEEP to redirect Surrey's energy and emission trajectory: by 2020, achieving a 22% per capita GHG reduction, increasing to a 47% per capita reduction by 2040 with the largest reductions being made within the transportation sector.Annual community-wide energy savings are projected at $832 million by 2040.

Priority action opportunities identified in the Climate Adaptation Strategy - which was developed under the ICLEI Canada framework - include the following:

* Supporting the development of a Regional Flood Management Strategy;

* Enhancing data collection and monitoring specific to Surrey;

* Continuing to improve and protect the quality and quantity of habitat;

* Planting tree species for conditions of a future climate;

* Ensuring adequate tree canopy and root space;

* Encouraging passive building design features; and

* Continuing to build community capacity to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience.
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