District of Saanich wins awards for Climate Plan

The District of Saanich, on the Southern tip of Vancouver Island, is one of 13 municipalities in the Capital Regional District.

Saanich adopted a Climate Action Plan in 2010 to reduce community and municipal greenhouse gas emissions. Consultants for the District worked with the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) to analyze regional climate change scenarios.  A climate change adaptation plan was then completed and adopted by the District of Saanich Council in 2011.

In March 2019, the District declared a climate emergency. Later in September, Saanich became the first municipality in the Capital Region to endorse a suite of accelerated climate actions.

In January 2020, the District of Saanich adopted their award-winning 2020 Climate Plan: 100% Renewable and Resilient Saanich. The 2020 Climate Plan’s goals include cutting emissions in half by 2030 and to net zero by 2050, transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2050, and preparing for a changing climate. There were 3 phases of public engagement with 55 key events and nearly 3,000 people engaged. The 6 focus areas of the plan include: mobility, buildings and infrastructure, food and materials, ecosystems, community wellbeing, and leadership in district operations. The cost of implementing the Climate Plan is estimated to be $2.5 million in 2020 and up to $1.9 million in 2021.

Saanich’s 2020 Climate Plan’s actions on resilience include:

  • Transition towards a climate-ready building stock.
  • Increase the resilience of Saanich’s infrastructure and assets.
  • Prepare for long-term sea level rise.
  • Improve the resiliency and self-sufficiency of the local food system.
  • Enable natural systems to thrive and adapt.
  • Ensure that emergency and community health services keep pace with climate change.

Resources that sum up the District of Saanich experience: