1. Make a Sustainable Transportation Commitment
to aim for zero-carbon future local transportation by creating a walkable downtown community with a great local cycling environment, and by adopting the best policies for ridesharing, car-sharing, transit, transportation demand management and electric vehicles.
Island Rideshare, Pender Island Car Stops, Kootenay Rideshare and the Jack Bell Foundation are good rideshare examples. Most EVs have 100+ km range, so are quite practical for local trips. Grand Forks has built 6 km of multi-purpose bike paths.
2. Make a Sustainable Development Commitment
to foster and encourage the best developments and to discourage ‘big box’ out-of-town shopping centres, with zero encroachment on the Agricultural Land Reserve. Adopt an urban containment boundary, and use a Sustainable Development Checklist and Scorecard in rezoning and development permit applications, with minimum points needed before approval can be considered
A checklist allows a council to ensure that new developments embrace a high standard of sustainable development design, with points for social, environmental, transportation and green energy features, as Port Coquitlam, Whistler, Kamloops, Nelson, and Surrey are doing. Ucluelet has created a very comprehensive smart growth strategy.
3. Make a Greenest Buildings Commitment
to lobby for provincial policies that would require all new buildings to be zero-carbon passive buildings heated by renewable energy; to give property owners floor-space incentives to make their existing buildings more energy efficient; and to plan ahead for renewable energy district heat.
In the UK, all new buildings (urban and rural) must be zero-carbon from 2019; in California all new homes must be zero-net energy starting in 2020. In Berkeley and San Francisco, since 1981, every home must be upgraded to the latest energy standard before it can be sold.
4. Make a Sustainable Local Economy Commitment
to urge your Regional District to target zero waste by 2030; openly oppose the growth of oil tankers, pipelines and coal exports; reinvest your carbon tax rebates in carbon reduction projects; encourage local businesses to sign up for Vancouver Island Green Business Certification or elsewhere in BC to join Climate Smart; reduce your energy use in all civic operations; encourage a local sharing economy; and measure and report progress on all five solutions annually.
Saanich and Dawson Creek have established local Carbon Funds; the District of Chetwynd has installed wind turbines and solar panels to power its LED decorations; Burns Lake has created a long-term Community Energy Plan; Quesnel is doing feasibility work on a biomass-based community energy system; Kimberley has developed a micro-hydro project.
5. Make a Healthy Food, Healthy Nature Commitment
to protect trees and plant new ones; establish more green spaces and community allotments; serve local food on municipal premises; help young farmers to work the land; encourage community fruit-picking; protect local forests and watersheds.
Armstrong has developed a great community greenhouse. In Sooke, their Regional Food CHI Society is working to create vibrant, sustainable food systems for the area.
BC Climate Action Toolkit: www.toolkit.bc.ca