Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
On a global scale, climate change is threatening the livability of the planet, and is therefore one of the greatest threats to our way of life, the economy, and the environment.
The Cause of Global Climate Change
Climate scientists have shown the cause of climate change is primarily our burning of fossil fuels which has released enough greenhouse gases to alter the natural balance of the earth’s atmosphere and increased the amount of energy the atmosphere retains.
Impact of Climate Change to Mission
- Hotter summers resulting in increased risk and intensity of forest fires
- Increase in occurrence of extreme weather including snow storms, ice storms, heavy rainfall, and droughts
- Increased risk of flooding and slope erosion
- Potable water supply restrictions due to drought, particularly during late summer
How is the District of Mission Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- New OCP emphasizes Smart Growth principles which emphasizes sustainability, alternative energy sources, protection of environmentally sensitive areas, and compact and complete communities which reduces GHG emissions associated with commuting to work.
- 14 level two electric vehicle charging stations were installed in the last couple years (7 dual charging stations) for public, staff and fleet use.
- Purchased first two EVs for fleet (both 2018 Nissan Leafs) as start of long-term plan to electrify and decarbonize the District fleet.
- Introduced bi-weekly garbage collection which encourages more composting resulting in less organics in landfill, which means less landfill gas (methane) which is approximately 22-times worse than CO2 in terms of its climate change impact.
- Conducted energy retrofits to lighting in several buildings and efficiency-upgrades of mechanical and control systems at Leisure Centre, Municipal Hall and Public Works
- Zoning Bylaw is under review to require new residential to have 100% of residential parking to be roughed-in for EV charging, with 15% to 25% for ICI parking.
- Construction of used oil collection facility at the Mission Recycling Depot so residents don’t have to drive to neighbouring municipalities to dispose of their waste oil.
- Water conservation efforts include metering new homes, rebates for toilets and washers. The District is also looking at meters in all homes.
- Encouraging developments with local jobs which will reduce commuting of residents to other municipalities.
- Increased promotion of pedestrian friendly community and cycling
- Planning to review opportunities for increasing transit when new BC Transit maintenance facility is online.
- Increased use of LED street lighting.
Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
A greenhouse gas (GHG) is one of a number of gases that work to trap heat from the sun within the Earth’s atmosphere resulting in global warming, the most common of which is carbon dioxide (CO2).
The primary human activity that emits greenhouse gases is the burning of fossil fuels. Burying garbage in landfills also emits GHGs as the garbage decays.
Global warming is the challenge of our generation. How we respond will shape the future of not just our environment, but also our economy, our society, our communities, and our way of life.
The provincial government enacted the Local Government (Green Communities) Statutes Amendment Act in 2008. The intent of the Act is to reduce GHGs, conserve energy, and create more sustainable communities. The act requires local governments to include GHG emission reduction targets, policies and actions in their Official Community Plans (OCPs).
As part of the greenhouse gas reduction initiative to become carbon neutral, the provincial government also created the Climate Action Charter, to which municipalities can sign on to. The District of Mission became a signatory of the charter in September 2007, and has become even more proactive in working towards reducing GHGs since then.
Corporate versus Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Greenhouse gases are allocated between “community emissions” and “corporate emissions”. Corporate emissions are those produced by the municipality from delivering its services, such as operating municipal buildings and vehicles. The District has completed a Corporate Energy and Action Plan (CEAP) which provides an inventory of corporate GHG emissions and actions to reduce those emissions.
Community emissions are those produced by the community as a whole (homes, businesses, vehicles, solid waste). The Province has completed community greenhouse inventories (CEEI) for all communities in BC. In addition, the District has completed a forecast of community emissions and is currently completing a Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP), which will result in a series of recommendations that, when implemented, will assist the community in reaching its greenhouse gas targets.
Reduction targets for both community and corporate have been set in the District’s Official Community Plan.