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Kimberley On Track to Meet Environmental Targets

The 2019 Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program put out by the City of Kimberley shows a steady decline in CO2 emissions since it signed on to the B.C. Climate Action Charter in 2007, and Mayor Don McCormick feels the municipality is on track to meet its goal of a 33% reduction in emissions.

“Since 2007, we have, for the most part, seen a consistent reduction in our CO2 emissions with a various number of actions we have taken. In fact, we are very very close to our commitment to be at 1,000 tons by 2020. That was the goal, and we are within spitting distance of that today,” said McCormick.

A graph included in the City’s report shows some fluctuations between years, and according to Mayor McCormick, it is due to changes in snowfall amounts. He said that years with heavier snowfall require more equipment to remove snow, thus creating more emissions.

McCormick said that the municipality has been making a number of changes to meet its goal of 1,000 tons per year, down from 1,600 in 2007.

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“Rather than doing one or two really big things, we looked for low-hanging fruit, things that we could do to achieve a result and build that into our behaviour over the last 12 or 13 years. From a community efficiency point of view, we’ve been supporting all of the provincial efforts on energy efficiency programs that have been brought into place either through the Province or BC Hydro or Fortis,” said McCormick. “The bottom line is that we have just built energy efficiency into our day-to-day behaviour, and over time we’re making progress and we’re very proud of that progress.”

Some of those changes the City has implemented included LED lighting in the Civic Centre, solar heating in the Aquatic Centre, and purchasing and hybrid-electric vehicle for Kimberley’s bylaw officer.

As well, a fund has been set up that the City pays into to help pay for energy-saving projects.

“We put $30 or $35 per ton that we are emitting. So about $30 to $35,000 a year goes into a reserve that we then use to do energy efficiency projects. The hybrid vehicle that we bought for the bylaw officer would be one example of how we spend that money,” said McCormick. “Going back about 10 years ago, the option was to take that $35,000 and buy offset credits. At the time, Council felt that it was more important for us to keep that money in the community, which is why we set the fund up and are using it for local projects instead of that money going someplace else. I have personally never been a big fan of offsets, it’s just moving the same thing around. By creating this reserve and doing meaningful things in the community, we are making some headway.”

A graph depicting the changes in CO2 emissions since 2007. (Supplied by the City of Kimberley)
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