Tuesday, April 3, 2012

City's GHG Reduction Plan Update

The City of Langley has released an update on its corporate greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction plan. This plan set the framework for GHG reduction for city owned-facilities and vehicles. According to the progress report:
The report documents an 18% reduction in total GHG emissions from 2008 to 2010. The reduction is partly attributable to BC Hydro offsetting its GHG emissions for “Net Zero” compliance in 2010 (thus the City’s electricity consumption resulted in no GHG emissions for 2010) and partly attributable to lower energy consumption in the building and vehicle fleet sectors. Approximately 47% of the total reduction in emissions (95 tonnes CO2e) is due to emissions from electricity consumption falling to zero. Discounting electrical energy, the total reduction in corporate emissions from 2008-2010 would have been 9.6%
Later this year, the City will be looking at a plan to become carbon neutral as part of its commitment to the Provincial Climate Action Charter. The progress report noted that further GHG reducing projects will be incorporated into the City’s departmental budgets as funding allows. I know this is a bit of an aside, but I find it interesting how energy reduction projects are sometimes seen as costs and “bad for business”. Fundamentally the less energy that is used, the less money it costs which is good for business. I saw a lecture awhile ago from an architect who noted that greening buildings can cost more money than conventional buildings because some architects reduce energy by bolting-on technology to inefficient designs. He was able to design building that used less energy and cost the same or less to build. I think that as the City continues on its path to sustainability, it needs to look at fundamental changing how its operates in ways that will reduce energy use without having to rely as heavily on bolt-on technology. This will save taxpayers money.

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