Monday, January 18, 2021

Regional District looking to strengthen climate change policies. Perfect timing for Langley City.

Last week, Langley City council unanimously passed a motion that there is a climate emergency. Council requested staff to provide a work plan for how our community can achieve net-zero carbon emissions before 2050. Included in that work plan is updating our Sustainability Framework to incorporate current best practices on climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience, focused around development and infrastructure projects.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District is in the process of updating the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS). Langley City's Offical Community Plan must be consistent with the objectives of the RGS.

Climate change policy areas. Select image to enlarge. Source: Metro Vancouver

One of the areas of focus for the updated RGS is climate change and natural hazards. The current RGS is light on specific measures that municipalities in Metro Vancouver must take around climate change and natural hazards risk reduction. The Regional District is looking to strengthen the language in the updated RGS as follows:

  • Embed new climate change policies in all goals of the update RGS
  • Require ecosystem services such as carbon storage and flood protection to be considered when changing regional land-use designations
  • Require municipalities to specify how they will meet regional GHG emissions reduction targets
  • Quantify the influence of land-use, carbon storage, and regional GHG emissions
  • Create policies to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions based on current standards and best practices
  • Identify and map regional-scale natural hazards, risks and vulnerabilities
  • Encourage regional growth patterns that incorporate emergency management, utility planning, and climate change adaptation
  • Support regional flood management

Langley City is currently in the process of update our Offical Community Plan. If City council adopts the updated Offical Community Plan this year, the next step will be to update our master plans, such as the Master Transportation Plan. Langley City’s timing is fortuitous as updating our master plans will likely be occurring simultaneously as the Regional District updates its policies.

No comments: