Municipality focuses efforts to improve GHG emissions reductions through implementation plan
Whistler's climate plans have been consolidated and reporting streamlined to make the progress updates, results and achievements more transparent and digestible, and the actions needed to meet targets made more clear.
On Tuesday, council adopted the Big Moves Climate Action Implementation Plan (CAIP), which consolidates the Big Moves Strategy and the 2016 Community Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) to prioritize and focus efforts. The two documents have guided climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts since their adoption, and this consolidated plan aligns the work, standardizes reporting and identifies how the initiatives underway are advancing.
“We know we’ve got to make some big adjustments in our community, if we’re going to make progress on our climate goals, and the clear, concise strategy staff laid out, should continue to help us move the needle,” said Mayor Jack Crompton.
Picking up from the actions previously laid out in the 2016 CECAP and Big Moves strategy, the consolidated CAIP provides an update and prioritization for each of the initiatives with a rating system for how well each is expected to achieve the CAIP goals. The key initiatives needed to achieve the three climate adaptation goals are similarly prioritized with high-impact milestones, timelines, and the departments leading each initiative clearly identified. Additional community engagement and discussion will be held as part of all of the implementation efforts of the CAIP.
This meeting also provided council with a look at the new semi-annual climate progress report, which will be used to ensure progress is clear and that implementation efforts are kept front and centre. This year’s report showed Whistler has only reduced emissions by eight per cent between 2019 and 2021, though the target is 50 per cent of 2007 levels by 2030. Vehicle emissions accounted for 52 per cent of the emissions, followed by natural gas for space and water heating in buildings, at 36 per cent. Electricity in residential, commercial and industrial buildings, vehicle fleets, transit and landfill made up the remainder.
“The progress report really makes it clear, despite recent achievements, that further work is needed to identify how we meaningfully impact Whistler’s GHG emissions to get us closer to achieving our Big Moves targets,” Crompton said.
The high-impact Big Moves initiatives highlighted for driving 2022 mitigation efforts include:
- the Return to Transit Loyalty Program
- e-bike pilot program with Evolve
- expanding the Sea to Sky EV charger network in collaboration with the District of Squamish, Village of Pemberton and Líl̓wat Nation
- adopting the Whistler EV Strategy
- use of lower carbon options by RMOW departments
- the Retrofit Assist program
Key initiatives having impact on the adaptation goals in the CAIP include:
- a Community Wildfire Resiliency Plan to educate the public, FireSmart programs to inform the public and train RMOW staff, and vegetation management. (Goal 1: minimize wildfire threats to human health and safety, private property, infrastructure, wildfire and natural assets)
- extreme weather response research, and updating the Whistler Integrated Stormwater Management Plan (Goal 2: Increase the resilience of built assets, infrastructure and services to extreme weather and environmental events)
- a pesticide and rodenticide policy, and development of a Priority Habitat Strategy to address (Goal 3: Protect, support and increase the resilience of local ecosystems, natural assets and biodiversity)
Both the Squamish Nation and Líl̓wat Nation will be informed about CAIP and will be invited to partner on relevant actions.
Learn more about Whistler’s Big Moves Climate Action Implementation Plan at whistler.ca/BigMoves.