The Comox Valley Regional District is now a member of a unique and leading group of just 28 local governments in Canada that have achieved the top level fifth and final milestone in corporate greenhouse gas reductions, in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ “Partners for Climate Protection” program.
The CVRD has made great progress in exceeding the corporate GHG reduction target, and also in achieving carbon neutrality through purchasing verified carbon offsets and supporting local GHG reduction projects. Cost-effective, community-based projects offer the best opportunities for taking action on climate change. Since 2008, Partners for Climate change local governments have undertaken over 800 projects to reduce GHG emissions, representing over 1.8 million tonnes of annual GHG reductions.
“Through a combination of improvements to operations and purchasing offsets, the CVRD has been carbon-neutral in its operations since 2012,” said Michael Zbarsky, CVRD’s manager of transit and sustainability. “In addition to funding local GHG-reduction projects, such as the Project Watershed blue carbon initiative, the community carbon marketplace, and energy retrofits at the Comox Valley sports centre, we have also installed solar photovoltaic demonstration projects at four facilities, which has helped confirm the viability of solar energy in the Comox Valley.”
The CVRD’s corporate energy plan, approved by the board in February 2011, included an eight part action plan to achieve targeted corporate GHG reductions. Among the actions undertaken, in addition to the four solar photovoltaic projects and the sports centre energy retrofits, were development of a corporate energy efficiency purchasing policy, fleet management improvements, and requirement an evaluation of alternative energy sources for new construction, major renovations, and existing facilities.
In 2014 the CVRD’s corporate GHG emissions were 1889 tonnes, a reduction of over 20 per cent
below the 2009 baseline of 2442 tonnes, meaning the target of a 10 per cent reduction by 2015 has
“It is still the CVRD’s objective to continually reduce corporate GHG emissions, and this target will be re-evaluated at the end of 2015,” said Zbarsky.
To see the most recent solar power production numbers from the CVRD’s solar photovoltaic demonstration projects, visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/solarpower.
To see the full extent of the CVRD’s GHG-reduction efforts to date, visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/climateaction