Kimberley City Council received the 2019 Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) Survey at the regular meeting on Monday, May 25.
CARIP was established by the B.C. government in order to support local governments in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address climate impacts and improve community resiliency.
Manager of planning services Troy Pollock said that 2019 was a bit of a struggle to reach the point the City did, along with other local governments throughout the province, as they transition into a new software system for tracking energy use and emissions.
However, good effort was made by people like Chris Jones who were able to get the report completed on time, setting Kimberley apart from many other municipalities in this regard.
Pollock said he’s happy to report another reduction in corporate greenhouse gas emissions, specifically 7.2 per cent down from 2018, for a grand total of 27.3 per cent reduction from the baseline set in 2007.
“Similar to previous years we can’t really point to any individual actions or strategies that were implemented this year to see that reduction,” Pollock said, “but I think it speaks to overall staff’s efforts to reduce fuel use and energy use in our facilities and buildings so just another good year of many combined small efforts to reduce those energy uses.”
Pollock explained that the report itself isn’t just a report on corporate initiatives, but also initiatives the city supports in efforts to assist the community in reducing its emissions. In that area, Pollock pointed to the city’s efforts to implement the BC Energy Step Code and requiring all new buildings to meet step two.
He also commended council’s actions to implement the expansion of Kimberley’s transit service last year.
Councilor Kitto asked Pollock if there are more efficiencies to be gained, or if Kimberley has begun to reach the end of easy gains and will need to implement greater policy changes going forward.
“I would say I feel like we’ve really picked off all the low-hanging fruit and other than a bunch of smaller, every-day actions we’re probably not going to make any more major steps to that regard,” Pollock replied.
He added that bigger steps will require bigger plans and investments, and that while there is certainly more to be done with regards to the city’s facilities, it begs the question of how much more can they invest in some of the existing facilities, given their age and condition, and do you look for those opportunities when planning newer facilities.
In past years, the city has taken opportunities to upgrade or replace fleet vehicles to ensure they’re the proper size or at least more fuel efficient than what they replaced. The city has also made a number of renovations and upgrades to facilities over the years, including some simple upgrades done to the public works facility last year.
“Over the eight or nine years now since I’ve been on council, it’s really been nice to watch how all of our actions have been folded into day to day operations,” Mayor Don McCormick said. “It’s not like it’s a special event, the correct behaviour and common sense has just been built into the things we do, which is why we have a lot of small things that are being done as opposed to some bigger projects and I think that’s great to see.”
Looking forward, Pollock said the City is likely to see some emissions savings, simply as a result of the Aquatic Centre being shut down for an extended period of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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