The RDN and the City of Nanaimo joined the Partners for Climate Change Protection (PCP) in 2002. This innovative program to address climate change at the local level is led by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives-Local Governments for Sustainability.
FCM Green Funds has provided funding to develop climate change plans for the RDN and its municipal partners' corporate operations and a region-wide community plan.
Each plan has five milestones:
- Create a GHG inventory and forecast
- Set an emissions reduction target
- Develop a GHG emissions reduction plan
- Put the plan in action
- Monitor progress and report on results
The overall objective is to reduce GHG emissions with the benefits of reducing the region's impact on climate change, developing more sustainable communities, saving money, and preparing for a carbon trading future.
Progress to date and next steps:
- GHG Inventory and Forecast - The RDN has completed an inventory and forecast of energy consumption, costs and GHG emissions for its corporate operations and the region-wide community. In 2002, the region generated an estimated 616,800 tonnes of GHGs or 4.60 tonnes per capita. The chart below shows the breakdown of GHG emissions by sector.
RDN Corporate Climate Change Plan - Summary of Emissions Forecasts
- Corporate Climate Change Plans - The RDN Board has approved a climate change plan for its corporate operations that targets reducing GHG emissions by four per cent below 2004 levels by 2012. The table below shows a breakdown of emissions by sector. The greatest source of emissions is from the combustion of diesel fuel required to operate regional transit buses.
The City of Nanaimo has completed a draft Climate Change Plan for its operations. The Town of Qualicum Beach and District Municipality of Lantzville have now joined the PCP program and the City of Parksville will soon become a member. Assisted by the RDN, they will prepare climate change plans and set GHG emissions reduction targets for their operations.
- The projection for buildings includes a proposed 25 - metre pool and 14,500 sq. ft. expansion to the Ravensong Aquatic Centre.
- LEDs for ornamental and overhead lighting are not currently cost effective, although this is expected to change during the project period and should be monitored by staff.
- A rough estimate is provided in the water and wastewater sector since the volume of potable water was not available and must be used as an indicator for specific measures.
- The reductions for the vehicle fleet may be underestimated given the technological breakthroughs expected in this sector within the next five years.
Proposed expansion of the Ravensong Aquatic Centre operated by RDN Recreation and Parks includes exploring geothermal heating to reduce GHG emissions.
- Integrated Region-wide Energy, Air Quality and GHG Emissions Plan - Work is now underway to prepare an integrated region-wide energy, air quality, and GHG emissions management plan. This major regional initiative will create a comprehensive plan that sets out a future energy and emissions strategy for the region as a whole. The plan will set targets to reduce fossil fuel use and GHG emissions and improve air quality. These targets will be achieved through improved energy efficiency and development of renewable energy.
The climate change aspect of the strategy will focus on reducing energy consumption and GHG gas emissions from:
- Residential, commercial and industrial buildings
- Solid waste
|Improving the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings will be a focus of the Community Energy, Air Quality and GHG Management Plan.|
The energy aspect of the region-wide plan will focus on energy demand and renewable energy such as:
- Waste heat and landfill gas utilization
- Ground source heat from heat pumps and geothermal
- Co-generation of heat and power
- Solar technologies
- Clean fuels
- Wind energy
The region-wide energy plan will encourage transportation alternatives to the automobile through land use planning that supports the use of transit, cycling, and walking.
A draft Integrated Region-wide Energy, Air Quality and GHG Emissions Plan is expected to be completed this fall. The final document will reflect the input of diverse community interests and show how by working together residents, business, industry and institutions can reduce energy consumption and GHGs.