Provide Feedback In March To Refine Climate Plan

PORT COQUITLAM, B.C. – Mar. 9, 2022… Port Coquitlam is offering the community another chance this month to continue help shape the City’s new Climate Action Plan.

Building upon the work we continue to do, earlier research and consultation, a new survey at portcoquitlam.ca/letstalk has launched until Apr. 1, will help fine-tune the draft plan by collecting opinions on proposed priorities and actions by the City and public to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and manage the impact of climate change on civic services and the community. The new plan is anticipated to be in place this summer, replacing the City’s 2010 Corporate and Community Climate Action Plan.

“We need to ask ourselves what kind of community, and planet, we want to leave our children and future generations,” Mayor Brad West said. “There’s a lot at stake here – we’re already experiencing the impacts of climate change. We have an opportunity now to show leadership by building an effective and practical made-in-PoCo approach to reducing emissions, leveraging new opportunities in the green economy, and creating resilience and prosperity in the face of extreme weather and other impacts of climate change.”

Those who complete the survey by Apr. 1 will be entered into a draw for a $50 gift card to a Port Coquitlam business of their choice.

The new Climate Action Plan will set updated GHG emissions reduction targets, outline community-scale actions, identify key partnerships, consider nature-based solutions to manage impacts, and develop strategies for evaluating, reporting and communicating the desired actions. A detailed implementation plan with timelines, costs and responsibilities will also be developed.

Work to date has included technical assessments, best practice research, climate science and emissions trend analysis, and consultation with the public and key interest groups. 

The Phase 2 engagement is now under way and will include a public online survey in addition to targeted consultation with youth, the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation, community organizations, utility providers, School District 43 and other stakeholders and under-represented groups.

“Thank you to all who provided their feedback in our first round of consultation, we must continue to work together on this critical Climate Action Plan,” said Cllr. Nancy McCurrach, Council’s designate for arts, culture, heritage issues and Council’s alternate designate for climate action. “Take part in the second phase of the climate action plan, as it will serve as an essential roadmap on our journey to sustainability as we continue to build a greener City.”

In the Phase 1 community engagement last fall, the City – working with consultants with expertise in climate action planning – collected input from hundreds of people through workshops, stakeholder outreach and a public survey.

Most participants were very concerned about the impacts of climate change in Port Coquitlam over the next decade, with the top three concerns being: flooding from intense rain, extreme heat, and flooding from rising river levels.

Participants have noticed local impacts such as higher summer temperatures and flooding from heavy rainfall, and were most concerned about how climate change will affect the natural environment, homes and personal property, and personal health and safety. People also voiced concerns about wildlife habitat, ecosystems, biodiversity, and damage to infrastructure.

Top priorities for City investment and focus over the next five years from the Phase 1 input were:

  • Protecting and planting trees, protecting watersheds and natural areas,
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and
  • Understanding and managing climate change impacts.

In terms of evaluating potential actions to take, respondents felt reducing emissions should be the City’s top criteria, followed by improving resilience, demonstrating regional climate leadership, and providing additional community and natural benefits. Others suggested considering the cost of inaction, and effect on those with lower incomes or who are most vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Adding to these initial perspectives, input from the current Phase 2 consultation will be used to refine the draft Climate Action Plan to be considered by Council later this summer.

The City’s intent is to adopt a practical new Climate Action Plan by summer 2022 that demonstrates strong leadership, is ready for implementation, and has a focus on educating and engaging people to participate in achieving its objectives.

Visit portcoquitlam.ca/climate for more information and updates on the new Climate Action Plan. The survey is posted at portcoquitlam.ca/letstalk.

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MEDIA CONTACTS

Ximena Ibacache
Manager of Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5499
Email ibacachex@portcoquitlam.ca