The Shaw Centre and the Salmon Arm Recreation Centre are two of the larger contributors to the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. (Observer file photo)

City’s carbon footprint grows

Colder temperatures in Salmon Arm in 2017, rising number of projects contribute to increase

The City of Salmon Arm’s carbon footprint is going up, not down, despite attempts to reduce it.

Like most B.C. municipalities, the city signed onto the BC Climate Action Charter in 2008. It is a non-legally binding agreement between the province, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) and local governments “that acknowledges that climate change is a reality and establishes a number of goals to address the issue going forward,” explains a report from city staff.

Local governments, such as Salmon Arm, agreed to have their operations carbon neutral by 2012. However, that has still not happened.

Local governments also agreed to measure and report on their greenhouse gas emissions while creating compact and more energy efficient communities.

In 2017, city operations produced 2,100.5 tons of carbon emissions, up 237 tonnes or about 10 per cent from the year before.

The emissions inventory tracks energy consumption – such as natural gas, electricity, gasoline, diesel and propane – from operations and quantifies the corresponding GHG emissions.

Related: BC seeks study on a particularly powerful greenhouse gas

Related: Canada’s greenhouse gas targets few and far away

Staff told Monday’s meeting of the city’s development and planning services committee that there are practical reasons for last year’s increase, including lower temperatures and a busy year for public works and capital projects.

The largest creator of greenhouse gas emissions in the city, with 932.53 tonnes, is the arts, recreation, parks and cultural services area, which includes the Shaw Centre and the SASCU Rec Centre. Coming in second place in emissions with 451.26 tonnes is drinking, storm and waste water services, while roads and traffic operations came in third place with 415.59 tonnes of emissions.

In 2016 the city’s total was 1878.9 tonnes while in 2015 it was 1866.3.

Related: CSRD honoured for sustainable waste management

Despite its lack of carbon neutrality, the city has been receiving Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) grants for the past 10 years for continuing to measure and report its carbon emissions, as well as trying to reduce them.

“They recognize our efforts to make our buildings and facilities more efficient, along with lighting projects, trail and sidewalk development, etc,” Kevin Pearson, director of development services, explained.

2017 projects included: refrigeration upgrades at the Shaw Centre; a pool pump upgrade; LED lighting upgrades in the atrium of the city hall building; airport LED lighting; biannual residential yard waste pick-up; Blackburn Park improvements; a sidewalk installation; a new Canoe Beach crosswalk; bicycle route enhancement (one kilometre of lane marking); and 7,775 metres of new Greenways trails.

“We use the money for projects to try and reduce energy consumption…” Pearson said. “Nevertheless, it’s up from the year before but we are trying.”

Coun. Kevin Flynn pointed out that the service areas that create the most emissions are also those that make up some of the largest portions of the city’s budget.

Coun. Alan Harrison noted that communities with colder climates logically have relatively higher emissions.

Coun. Tim Lavery said that if and when the city goes to curbside organic waste recycling, that will produce a large carbon offset.

City politicians will discuss their plans for climate action further at their Monday, April 23 council meeting.

To be carbon neutral, council could elect to purchase carbon offsets from the province, but successive councils have elected not to. As well as being costly, the city would not be in control of how the funds are spent by the provincial Ministry of Environment.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Avalanche control scheduled tomorrow on Highway 1 east of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled along Highway 1 on Dec 15. From… Continue reading

Shuswap thief nabs purse in hospital, attempts to steal taxi

Salmon Arm RCMP arrest suspect who judge orders to stay behind bars until trial

School District 83 says a buyer is lined up for Salmon Arm’s DAC

Few details available, but sale is said to be finalized by Jan. 31

Okanagan College unlocks time capsule

Items placed in 1993 and kept in capsule in library opened at special ceremony

Natalie Wilkie takes fourth at Para Nordic World Championships in Finland

Salmon Arm Paralympian finishes with top time among Team Canada’s women’s skiers

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Final phase of Kelowna hospital cardiac centre completed

Finishing new recovery rooms last stage of $381 million project

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Most Read