City of Courtenay Issues First "State of the Environment Report"
Courtenay Continuing to Reduce its Footprint on Environment
The City of Courtenay has issued its first “State of the Environment Report” with updates on targets for air quality, water consumption, transportation, land use, waste, and energy.
Peter Crawford, the City’s Director of Development Services, said the report will help track the City’s progress.
“We are committed to making Courtenay an environmentally sustainable community,” he noted. “This is a way for us to share some of the City’s initiatives, and also clearly communicate our targets and how we are reaching them.”
The City has committed to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020. In order to meet that goal, the City will need to continue to explore efficiencies in transportation, buildings, and solid waste in its corporate operations as well as the community at large.
“We’ve been reducing our greenhouse gas emissions on a corporate level, such as by retrofitting our civic buildings with energy-efficient technology, but the biggest gains are made through community-wide planning,” noted Crawford.
“We’ve added climate change targets to our Official Community Plan, and are exploring ways to encourage increased housing density in our core areas. Creating compact, walkable communities makes it easier for people to leave their cars at home, and helps reduce the pressure on our road network.”
“An ecological footprint measures people’s impact on the environment through natural resource consumption and waste generation. It is measured in hectares per capita – the amount of land and sea needed to support each person’s current needs,” explains Nancy Hofer, the City’s Environmental Planner and report co-author.
“Humans collectively are consuming resources much faster than the earth can produce them. We can help reduce our ecological footprint by considering the environment in our every day decisions, both at a corporate and personal level.”
“The report draws on data from other agencies such as the Community Energy and Emissions Inventory from the provincial government. The State of the Environment report was formally presented to City Council earlier this month.”
“Most of the targets in the report have been established in either the City’s Official Community Plan or the Comox Valley Regional Growth Strategy.”
To Learn More:
To download a copy of the report, click on “State of the Environment 2013”
The City is one of four Comox Valley local governments that are collaborating in a forum known as the Comox Valley Leadership Team of “Convening for Action on Vancouver Island” (CAVI). Through collaboration, the four are striving for consistent application of strategies and tools to achieve watershed goals.