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City seeks public input on priorities for climate action

The City of Prince George is launching a public engagement campaign to determine priorities for actions that the city would undertake to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

These actions will be presented in a new plan that would update the city’s last energy and greenhouse gas management plan, produced in 2007, and involve new local targets aligned with provincial and federal commitments.

The new plan will reflect Prince George’s current energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Burning gasoline and diesel in vehicles currently accounts for 50 per cent of Prince George’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the city. Buildings account for another one-third through the burning of fossil fuels (such as natural gas) to produce heat and hot water. Waste accounts for 13 per cent – these emissions are produced when biodegradable materials, such as yard and kitchen wastes, decompose without the presence of oxygen (buried deep in a landfill, for example) and produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

“The proposed actions reflect the Prince George context and include initiatives related to transportation, buildings, waste and food, land use, and renewable energy,” said Andrea Byrne, Supervisor – Environment, for the City of Prince George. “We’ve identified 13 specific actions that are relevant to the Prince George community, are aligned with other City initiatives, and have the potential to significantly reduce our GHG emissions while also potentially reducing long-term infrastructure costs, making people healthier, and even stimulating new economic opportunities. Now we want residents to indicate the actions that are most important to them.”

Public input is being sought in-person and via an online survey:

  • June 12 – Bob Harkins Branch of the Prince George Public Library, 11:00am to 8:00pm. Presentations will be at 12:15pm, 4:30pm, and 7:00pm
  • June 22 – Prince George Farmers Market, 8:30am to 2:00pm
  • July 11 – Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park Pavilion, noon to 8:00pm
  • The online survey will be available from June 12 until July 31, 2019 at www.princegeorge.ca/environment.

After the last climate change plan was produced in 2007, Prince George became one of the first communities in Canada to establish a GHG inventory, set targets and establish action plans, and measure results. GHG emissions are publicly reported in the city’s annual report. The establishment of the downtown renewable energy system in 2012 has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than any other single city initiative. The system distributes hot water through underground piping to eleven downtown buildings, almost completely offsetting their natural gas consumption for heat. The hot water is produced at Lakeland Mills using the byproduct from lumber production.

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