Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Surrey's Climate Change Action Plan

The City of Surrey has recognized that climate change is happening and that cities have a role to play in both the mitigation of human-caused climate change and adaptation of our communities as a response to the effects of climate change.

For around a decade, Surrey has been building an action plan to reduce and mitigate the effects of climate change with most of that information on their ENERGYShift website. A few of the interesting facts from the website are that 60% of all GHG emission are from transportation of people and goods in the community, and 35% of GHG emissions are from building energy usage.

Surrey is now in the process of completing two other documents to further its action plan around climate change. The Community Energy and Emissions Plan is a framework to reduce community energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions while the Climate Adaptation Strategy identifies how the effects of climate change will impact the community; it also proposes solutions that may mitigate some of the impacts from climate change. The Climate Adaptation Strategy starts to put real dollars and cents values to the infrastructure needed as a result of climate change. You can read an overview of both of these reports starting on page 9 of the “City of Surrey Community Climate Action Strategy” report which was on last night’s council agenda. The City of Surrey is also looking for feedback on the plans and submissions can be made to sustainability@surrey.ca by October 27, 2013.

The plans look at six main areas that can reduce GHG emission or which are impacted by climate change: infrastructure, flood management and drainage, ecosystems and natural areas, urban trees and landscaping, human health and safety, and agriculture and food security.

Some of the main areas that the City will be focusing on to reduce GHG emissions are:

-Building complete, compact, connected corridors supporting a high quality rapid transit network and low carbon district energy systems
-Creating a framework to meet steadily rising building energy standards through capacity building efforts, the exploration of local incentives, and connecting the development community with existing incentives available for energy efficiency
-Building bike infrastructure around and between Town Centres and the City Centre
-Creating a “green” car strategy
-Finding new initiatives that build on the City’s Rethink Waste program

On the climate change migration front, some of the projects that Surrey is working on are:

-A Crescent Beach Climate Change Adaptation Study
-A Serpentine / Nicomekl Lowlands Flood Control Plan
-A Development within the Nicomekl, Campbell and Serpentine River Floodplain Policy
-A Nicomekl and Serpentine Sea Dam Upgrades Options Report
-An Ecosystem and Natural Areas Management Study and the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy
-An Agriculture Protection and Enhancement Strategy

I highly recommending checking out the 22 page document that the City has put together which outlines their latest climate change strategies.

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