Coquitlam is now hoping the public can come forward with its ideas, thoughts and input on how they'd like to see the city's environment preserved for the future.
Environment manager Caresse Selk says a draft environmental sustainability plan (ESP) has been set and is seeking feedback on if it provides a flexible outlook on the community's expectations.
Research and analysis began in 2019, a news release explains, at a budget of $150,000 listed to begin in the 2022-23 fiscal year.
It includes five themes with 10 total priorities based on short-term need, funding and community interest:
- Create a new climate action plan
- Develop a carbon offset reserve fund policy
- Start an electric mobility strategy
- Implement the BC Energy Step Code requirements
- Design a single-use item bylaw
- Start the enhanced water conservation strategy
- Boost education to prevent watercourse pollution
- Expand outreach about residential storm water
- Organize an urban forest management plan
- Measure tree canopy cover percentages
Among the new goals is a move to cut greenhouse gases (GHG) by 45 per cent by 2030, and to be carbon neutral by 2050 — bringing Coquitlam in line with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the federal government and Metro Vancouver (the B.C. government has lower targets).
Last year, the city saw an 18 per cent reduction in corporate GHG emissions from civic buildings, its vehicle fleet and operations while the per-capita community GHG emissions have risen one per cent each year since 2007; vehicle transportation and building emissions account for 94 per cent of the community’s carbon pollution.
"A review and update of the ESP will occur on a five to 10-year schedule, consistent with other corporate plans," Selk added.
"Following the engagement process, feedback will be reviewed to inform refinements to the ESP. The final plan will be presented to council later this year."
There are three in-person events scheduled for residents to hear more about the sustainability plan:
- Sept. 19 = Coquitlam Public Library – Poirier Branch from 12:15 to 4:15 p.m.
- Sept. 27 = Glen Pine Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Oct. 6 = Coquitlam Public Library – City Centre Branch from 3 to 7 p.m.
- with files from Janis Cleugh, Tri-City News