As indicators of progress on the way to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, five “Big Moves” have been identified through the draft Climate Action Strategy. (Township screengrab)

Plan to fight climate change gets nod from Langley Township council

The plan looks ahead to 2050 and plans for a zero-carbon future

Langley Township council unanimously approved a plan to tackle the climate crisis and deal with local carbon dioxide emissions at Monday’s meeting.

The plan calls for the Township to slash 45 per cent of carbon emissions across the board – from municipal, business, and household sources – by 2030, just nine years from now. The goal is to get to zero in 29 years.

Community emissions will need to drop by 850,000 tons over the next 10 years to hit the 2030 goal.

“The goal is to get to zero carbon by 2050,” said Ryan Schmidt, the Township’s manager of sustainability.

A public survey of Township residents received 1,649 responses, a high rate of response for a survey in the municipality. It found a high level of support for the Climate Action Strategy (CAS) with:

• 72 per cent in support of the strategy,

• 15 per cent were neutral, and

• 13 per cent were unsupportive

Schmidt said the project will lead to significant, and positive changes for the Township.

“We’ll notice clean air and abundant drinking water, healthy, inclusive and connected communities where residents can walk, bike, or roll to everything they need in their neighbourhoods,” said Schmidt.

It should also lead to healthy populations of local wildlife and prosperity for local farmers, Schmidt said.

Although the Township can’t fix climate change on its own, climate action manager Tess Rouse noted the potential costs of global inaction are local.

More extreme weather is an expected consequence of climate change.

That would mean more storms like the one in January 2020, which swept away culverts, caused mudslides, and damaged roads across the Township.

The repairs needed after that storm cost the Township about $1.2 million so far.

“Therefore the cost of inaction, in terms of recovery, is expected to be more than four times the cost of taking action today,” Rouse said.

The plan is broken down into more than 100 individual actions and five “big moves” laid out in the plan.

The plan contains more than 140 specific actions the Township could take, with many of the measures broken down into five “big moves,” according to a report the mayor and council heard from staff on June 29.

The big moves are:

1 – Safe and sustainable transportation, which would see more than half of passenger trips taken by bus, bike, foot, or electric vehicle, rather than a majority by internal combustion vehicles.

2 – Transition to all new buildings constructed to create zero emissions by 2030. That would mean no new building would depend on fossil fuels for heating, hot water, or cooking.

3 – Zero emission existing buildings – That would see more than half of existing homes, shops, and industrial sites retrofitted to eliminate natural gas and fuel-oil furnaces and water heating systems.

4 – Zero emission operations – The Township is to hit zero emissions by 2040, 10 years ahead of the rest of the community. That means zero emissions from buildings and replacing much of the Township’s vehicle fleet.

5 – Resilient natural systems – This section focuses on creating an increased tree canopy and rainwater capture, to create a more resilient natural environment.

The cost of all of this would be around $130 annually for a representative household over the next 10 years. The cost in 2021 per household is expected to be lower, around $30 to $42 going towards the various projects. Not all of those costs would be new money.

Although council has approved the plan, they have not yet approved any of the spending that will go into budgets in future years. It’s expected that the first Climate Action Plan items will go into the 2022 municipal budget.

Council was broadly supportive of the project.

“This is a living document,” said Mayor Jack Froese, who noted that as time goes on there will be new things that will be incorporated into the strategy.

He also pointed out that the strategy brings together a number of actions in one document, including some policies that are already in place.

Coun. Bob Long noted that the birth of the document was some years ago, and was supported by former Coun. Mel Kositsky.

Climate crisisEnvironmentLangley Townshipmunicipal politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A memorial to Hudson Brooks outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo)
Officer who fatally shot Hudson Brooks recounts ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran testified at coroner’s inquest Tuesday morning

Single-family houses like these, under construction in Willoughby, are now 20 per cent more valuable than a year ago, according to recent real estate numbers. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
‘Great Congestion’ hits Langley real estate as buyers vie for houses

Townhouses and single-family homes are in high demand and prices are up

Riverside Calvary Church in Walnut Grove. (Langley Advance Times file)
B.C. is ‘stereotyping’ churches as riskier for COVID than other spaces, lawyer argues

Judge said that freedom of expression, religion are not at issue in the case

Which came first? Actually, you might not need the chicken at all pretty soon. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Painful Truth: Eggs without chickens?

What does that do to poultry farmers?

A player is checked in prior to the start of play in a North Langley Softball video produced to demonstrate COVID-19 safety measures are in place (Danica Reed video/special to Langley Advance Times)
Playing it safe: North Langley Softball produces COVID safety video

Intended to answer parental concerns about precautions while practicing during a pandemic

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Most Read