For the second consecutive year, the City of Kelowna has received recognition from the Provincial Union of B.C. Municipalities for accelerating progress on B.C. Climate Action Charter commitments.
“The City has done a lot of great work to help reduce emissions and prepare the community for climate change,” said Tracy Guidi, sustainability coordinator at the City of Kelowna. “But we still have a long way to go to deliver on Imagine Kelowna’s goals and Council’s Priorities to take action and be resilient in the face of climate change.”
The City’s 2018 Community Climate Action Plan and Corporate Energy and GHG Emissions Plan provide the direction to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Some of the initiatives undertaken that deliver on these plans include:
- Implementing the Energy Step Code to make new buildings more energy efficient and lower operating costs.
- Converting 10,000 streetlights to LED that resulted in a 62 per cent reduction in energy use.
- Hiring a community energy specialist to focus on strategies, policies, and opportunities for energy efficiency.
- Expanding the City’s active transportation network with a combined 73.3 kilometres of new buffered bike lanes, multi-use paths, sidewalks, and bike lanes added in 2018.
- Collaborating with regional partners on the Clean Air and Safe Routes 4 Schools program: Pearson, Raymer, Belgo, and South Kelowna Elementary schools participate in helping reduce school emissions.
- Celebrating 10 years of the NeighbourWoods program, which helped residents plant more than 4,000 trees that help reduce pollution in the air, water, and soil.
“We know that the two biggest contributors to GHG emissions in Kelowna are on-road transportation and buildings,” said Guidi. “Climate change is happening now and affects everyone, and while the City is taking steps to make a difference, successfully reducing emissions requires the public to take an active role in impacting real change.”