City of Kimberley recognized for climate action commitment

The City of Kimberley signed onto the Climate Action Charter several years ago, and set a target of a 33 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the 2007 baseline by 2020. That goal was written into the Official Community Plan.

Thus far, the City has achieved a 21.6 per cent reduction from the 2007 baseline, including a six per cent reduction in 2018.

The City of Kimberley has recently been recognized by the Provincial Green Communities Committee with a Level 3 award for Accelerating Progress on Charter Commitments. The City previously achieved Level 1 and 2 status. The GCC congratulated the city on continuously improving on achievements and applauds its leadership in their ongoing commitment to the goal of carbon neutrality.

“By signing the Climate Action Charter, the City has made a commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions,” said Scott Sommerville, City Chief Administrative Officer. “This is important work and while accolades are always great to receive, we have even more work to do to meet our goals. We look forward to sharing those updates as we see more progress on climate action.”

So how does a municipality go about reducing emissions? It starts with setting goals and creating plans. The City of Kimberley has a Community Energy and Emissions Plan, a Community-Wide Climate Action Plan, and a Corporate GHG Reduction Plan, as well as writing goals into the OCP.

The City has an Energy Efficient Building incentive program, and has adopted the BC Energy Step code for new builds.

For their corporate buildings, the Works Yard building has been made more energy efficient, and exterior lighting on city buildings is being converted to LED.

Partnering to expand the SunMine, and encouraging the development of other solar projects, as well as installing an electric vehicle charging station at the visitor’s centre, are also positive steps.

Also part of reducing GHG is implementing a wildfire management program, an area in which the City has been leading for many years.

The City also worked with the RDEK to increase recycling options, and is looking at organics collection and composting programs.

The commuter bus schedule with BC Transit has been expanded.

And the City fleet is continually being upgraded with newer, more fuel efficient vehicles, including the new Bylaw Enforcement van, which is a plug in hybrid.

Encouraging more citizens to walk is also part of GHG reduction. The City is continually improving trails that makes moving between neighbourhoods easier, as well as putting in a walking track at the Civic Centre.

All the work being done on replacing water mains leads to less water leaks and more efficiency.

The City has also identified three climate change impacts that are most relevant to Kimberley. Those are, warmer winter temperatures reducing snowpacks; increased temperatures increasing wildfire activity; and extreme weather events contributing to urban and overland flooding.

Temperatures in the Kimberley area have warmed 1 degree C over her last century, and are forecast to warm by an additional 2 to 3 degrees by the 2050s, according to a climate analysis done by Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium.

Overall precipitation in the area has seen a slight increase over the last hundred years, with a clear trend to less precipitation in the form of snow. In the future, precipitation is expected to see a slight increase in winter and slight decrease in summer. Stream flows have also been changing, with peak spring flows shifting into April/May from May/June since the 1950s. Future projections for stream flows predict earlier spring freshets with lower peak volumes and a more sustained duration, and lower stream flows in late summer and early fall.

To find out all of the ways the City of Kimberley is working to meet the 33% goal, residents can view the entire report on the City of Kimberley website through this link: http://bit.ly/KimberleyCARIP

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