Community Climate Action Plan
Local Action

Climate change is happening and we need to respond urgently. We each have a role to play.

Climate change is happening and we need to respond urgently. We each have a role to play.

If we do nothing, we stand to lose everything.

Building a low-carbon future in Squamish

Scientists have identified the need to keep the global average temperature increase to below 1.5 degrees Celsius total or risk devastating consequences. Each one of us must take immediate action to reduce our carbon emissions. At the District of Squamish, we have already begun to build a low carbon future, but we need your help.

In 2019, the District of Squamish declared a Climate Emergency and set out to create a Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) as a framework for how Squamish can reduce its greenhouse emissions. The CCAP outlines Six Big Moves, actions and strategies that we can all do to keep climate change at bay and continue to enjoy what we love about living in Squamish: Clean air and water, good health, and a thriving natural environment.

Read the CCAP report

whats next cyclist

Six Big Moves

The CCAP identifies Six Big Moves that will guide community efforts to reduce our emissions by 38,300 tonnes CO2e by 2030—that’s the equivalent of 2.3 million round-trip drives between Squamish and Vancouver. Our ultimate goal is to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Based on our emissions inventory, we know that most of our emissions come from transportation, waste, and buildings—areas that should now be the focus of our community efforts.

Transportation

Did you know that transportation accounts for 52% of our community carbon emissions? You can help tackle this challenge by shifting beyond the car and using low-carbon vehicles.

Shifting Beyond the Car:
The District is working on several programs to suit the needs of our diverse population: Increasing public transit options, making it safer to commute on foot or by or bike, and increasing neighbourhood density to make it easier for residents to access everyday amenities without the use of a vehicle. Over the coming years, you’ll be able to participate in a variety of new community programs, including car-free pilot programs and e-bike sharing, to name a few.

Using Low-Carbon Vehicles:
Building a low-carbon future means moving away from transportation powered by fossil fuels. The District is building infrastructure for low- or zero-carbon cars, buses, fleets, and heavy duty vehicles. The District is exploring funding opportunities to make it easier to own an Electric Vehicle (EV) by building additional EV charging stations throughout Squamish.

Community Bike Map
Easy steps to increase your use of sustainable transportation.
Smart Growth Neighbourhood Incentive
How Electric Vehicles are paving the way to a low-carbon future

Waste

Closing the loop on waste is an important part of our climate action efforts. When you throw organic waste such as vegetable scraps in the landfill, without oxygen, the decomposition process releases methane gas into the atmosphere. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas that is 26 times stronger than carbon dioxide. In fact, landfill waste accounts for 20% of our community greenhouse gas emissions. Proper waste management can have a significant impact on reducing our emissions.

Achieving Zero Waste:
The District of Squamish’s Zero Waste Strategy includes guidelines for how homes and businesses can divert waste from the landfill by properly disposing of organic materials such as food, yard and garden cuttings, and construction materials that cannot be recycled.

Squamish is also using innovative technology to manage our existing landfill emissions. The District of Squamish is installing a landfill gas collection system in order to capture and burn methane from the landfill. We are also exploring ways to use this renewable natural gas in the future.

 

Zero Waste Strategy

The District of Squamish aims to decrease the diversion of waste from landfill to 80%, and reduce per capita landfill waste to 300 kg by 2021.

Waste Reduction Week

Waste Reduction Week in Canada is a year-round program, focused on the principles of circular economy, resource efficiency, and waste reduction.

How Waste is Contributing to Climate Change

Landfill waste accounts for 20% of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Squamish.

Buildings

In Squamish, buildings contribute 29% of our community’s total carbon emissions, largely because many buildings rely on natural gas as a primary fuel source. We can make major improvements in the buildings we have, and improve the construction of new buildings.

While local government has limited authority over energy retrofits on existing buildings, we can support initiatives led by the Province of British Columbia and look at creative funding opportunities to help homeowners make their houses, condos, and townhomes more energy efficient. We can also encourage homeowners to switch to electrical heating, which has a lower carbon footprint while we work to invest in upgrades to our own corporate facilities.

Going forward, the District will be enforcing the BC Energy Step Code, a section of the BC Building Code that ensures all new buildings are energy efficient. There are also zoning incentives in place to encourage new homes to use electricity for heating.

Lowering Emissions with Energy Efficient Buildings
Guidelines for Developers and Builders

How are we doing?

The District of Squamish is committed to measuring progress as we work together to build a low-carbon future. Follow along as we take action to mitigate, adapt to and measure the effects of climate change. 

OCP hexagons
Squamish Community Performance Dashboard

Tracking a series of Community Performance Indicators to measure progress toward identified OCP and CCAP objectives and targets.