Victoria, Saanich, West Vancouver, Kamloops, the Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation, and the First Nations Leadership Council were all recognized for outstanding community leadership in climate action during the annual Climate & Energy Action Awards presented earlier today at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention.
2022 marks the 25th anniversary of the awards program, which is presented by the Community Energy Association in association with multiple sponsors: The Government of BC, BC Hydro, FortisBC, the Real Estate Foundation of BC, and UBCM.
This year, 16 nominations were received from communities large and small, and eleven expert judges had the difficult task of selecting the winners in three categories:
Community Planning & Development
City of Victoria and the District of Saanich for Greater Victoria District 2030, which is involving the owners/managers of 37 local commercial buildings who are aiming to meet new targets for energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission reduction.
An honourable mention was presented to the City of Kamloops for Big Moves Investments, which are being funded by a Climate Action Levy of 0.35%, providing an estimated $24 million in funding over the next 10 years.
District of West Vancouver for its Foreshore Development Permit Area and Sea Level Rise Adaptation Policy, which involves new requirements for development in areas above the risk of flooding given the increased risk of sea level rise associated with climate change.
An honourable mention was presented to the Lhoosk'uz Dené Nation for planning associated with a new community bioenergy system that will reduce reliance on trucked-in fossil fuels for power and heat while also addressing wildfire risk posed by climate change and the mountain pine beetle infestation.
City of Victoria for its Green Fleet Plan that will involve electrifying many of its 400 municipal vehicles over the next nine years in order to achieve a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with its fleet.
A group of judges also wanted to recognize and highlight the recent initiative by the BC First Nations Leadership Council to establish a first-of-its-kind Climate Strategy and Action Plan by awarding a Special Recognition. Published in the spring of 2022, the plan outlines a vision, five guiding principles, four priority pathways for climate action, and 20 urgent calls for climate action – all recognizing that Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories are disproportionately affected by climate change. The First Nations Leadership Council is comprised of the political executives of the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.
Local and Indigenous governments are leading the way forward on climate change by building cleaner, stronger communities for people across the province,” says Hon. George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Through CleanBC, we’re helping accelerate this work to reduce emissions, support good jobs and improve communities. Thanks to the Community Energy Association for their work highlighting some of the best examples of climate leadership at a local level through these awards.”
“Whether they won an award or not, all of the nominees have inspiring and innovative projects that we’ll share across BC and Canada so all communities win,” says Dale Littlejohn, CEO of the Community Energy Association. “Thank you to the sponsors and all of the nominees for being part of this celebration of local climate action.