The Provincial-Union of British Columbia Municipalities Green Communities Committee (GCC) recently presented the District of Houston the climate leader of 2016 award.
“We would like to extend our congratulations for your successful efforts to undertake significant corporate or community-wide climate action to reduce green house gas emissions in the 2016 reporting year,” wrote Tara Fagnello, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Local Government Division for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Gary MacIssac, Executive Director for the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.
The Green Communities Committee was established under the Climate Action Charter to support local governments in achieving their climate goals.
The District of Houston was awarded level three recognition which is titled, “Accelerating Progress on Charter Commitments.”
There are for levels to incentive program.
The first level is, “Demonstrating Progress on Charter Commitments,” which is awarded to local governments who demonstrate progress on fulfilling one or more of their Climate Action Charter commitments.
The second level is, “Measuring Green House Gas Emissions.” Local governments who have achieved the first level have completed a corporate carbon inventory for the reporting year and demonstrate that they are familiar with the Community Energy and Emissions Inventory for their community receive recognition from the GCC and the B.C. Climate Action Community.
Finally the fourth level, “Achievement of Carbon Neutrality,” is awarded to local governments that achieve carbon neutrality in the reporting year.
Some of the District of Houston’s Climate Action Character commitments are to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions to 33 per cent of 2007 GHG levels by 2020 through the implementation of the Community Energy and Emissions plan as well as the Official Community Plan.
In 2016 LED street lights were installed, and the life-cycle maintenance plan for the community hall was completed as corporate actions towards reductions realized from energy efficient lights and using the minimum amount of energy needed to provide comfort and safety as well as tap into renewable energy sources for heating, cooling and power.
This year the District of Houston has been taking action to continue this reduction and energy efficient goal through installing more LED street lights, upgrading the electrical services in the Claude Parish Memorial arena and geothermal heat exchange system, commissioning a life-cycle maintenance plan for the municipal office and Houston Leisure Facility, and plans to upgrade the windows at the Houston Leisure Facility to improve heat retention and reduce energy use.
Installing power generating turbines in the water transmission line from the water tower is also apart of this year’s District of Houston’s Climate Action Charter commitments towards low-emission energy sources for heating, cooling and power supports.
Downtown revitalization of Houston and the recent work towards preparing a parks and recreation master plan this year are also apart of the charter in greenspace actions.
In 2016 a new garbage truck was purchased to improve efficiency of fuel consumption and reduce total hours needed to collect solid waste for the solid waste action commitments of the charter. And the District of Houston’s commitment to the Hwy. 16 Regional Transit Program contributed to the community’s commitment for transportation efficiency actions in the charter.
“Town council is very happy to get the level three award for reducing green house gas emissions in our community,” said mayor Shane Brienen. “We would like to thank the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Green Communities Committee for recognizing us as a Climate Action Community.”