Rachelle Stein-Wotten

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder

The final report outlining the Regional District of Nanaimo’s priority climate change actions has been approved by the board of directors.

“The RDN response needs to reflect the severity and immediacy of the risk posed by climate change,” the climate action technical advisory committee’s final report says, and that all levels of government “must commit significant resources to reducing emissions, supporting climate-adaptive development and making it as easy as possible for residents and business to take personal action.”

The top three actions in the report are water supply resilience including through natural asset management, updating RDN policies and bylaws “to remove barriers to climate mitigation and adaptation and ensure RDN policies support climate-appropriate development and operations” and increasing support for home energy and adaptation retrofits.

The provisional 2022 budget includes $50,000 for water security, $50,000 for policy review, $52,000 for home retrofits and $91,945 for a new staff position: a climate change special projects coordinator.

Also included in the budget is $165,000 split between previously proposed programs recommend to begin in 2022 – a net zero building and renewable energy generation strategy, implementation of the corporate carbon neutral plan and a sustainable procurement initiative.

Those three items number among 11 plans and programs recommended in the final report to receive sustained or expanded support. In October, the board already voted not to proceed with one of those, an electric vehicle charging network strategy.

A proposed structure for tracking and reporting on implementation and emission reductions will be presented to the board by April 2022.

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