COQUITLAM, BC, July 13, 2021 – The public is getting its first look at Coquitlam’s draft environmental strategy, which aims to address climate change, development, transportation, waste, water and nature.
Community engagement this fall will be part of the final step in the development of the City’s first Environmental Sustainability Plan (ESP), which will consolidate and link the City’s various environment-related objectives, plans and policies and combine them with new goals, strategies and actions.
Once approved in late 2021, the overarching document will guide future City decisions and ensure the community’s long-term environmental resiliency and sustainability. The draft can be found at www.coquitlam.ca/enviroplan.
Plan Development in Final Stage
Work on the ESP began in 2019 and has included extensive research, staff and Council input, and community engagement that informed its five themes: climate action; built environment; natural areas, wildlife and habitat; water management and waste management.
Drawing from the collected data and input, the ESP’s project team has been building the draft plan over the past year, including identifying goals and strategies along with detailed actions to bring the five themes to life. A third-party expert review was also completed to ensure the ESP reflects best practice while being feasible and relevant for Coquitlam.
Presented to Council-in-Committee yesterday, the current draft plan will be further refined over the summer, incorporating Council feedback and consultation with the interdepartmental project support team. Following the final round of public engagement this fall, the final draft of the ESP will be presented to Council for adoption before the end of the year.
Activities to Begin in 2022
Coquitlam’s Environmental Sustainability Plan includes 120 actions, a mix of new, enhanced and ongoing work divided into short-term, medium-term and long-term timeframes. Ten top priorities, some of which are already in progress, have been identified for 2022-2023:
1. Develop a new Climate Action Plan
2. Carbon Offset Reserve Fund Policy
3. Develop an Electric Mobility Strategy
4. Implement the BC Energy Step Code requirements for new development
5. Implement a single-use item bylaw following the development of a regional approach in Metro Vancouver
6. Implement the enhanced Water Conservation Strategy
7. Pursue targeted enforcement and education to reduce watercourse pollution
8. Develop education and outreach and volunteer opportunities related to stormwater management
Natural Areas, Wildlife and Habitats:
9. Develop a city-wide Urban Forest Management Plan
10.measure the tree canopy coverage in developed neighbourhoods
Most of the identified activities for 2022-2023 will be financed through existing funding sources, such as the Carbon Offset Reserve. The exception is the larger-scale Urban Forest Management Plan, which will be presented as a budget request for 2023. The remaining actions will be implemented in phases, with corresponding budget requests to Council.
Accountability will be built into the ESP through a suite of key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be reported on each year and may be adjusted over time as new information emerges.
Highlights of draft KPIs and targets include:
- New corporate and community greenhouse gas emission targets of 45 per cent reduction by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2050, in alignment with global Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommendations;
- Number of new buildings that meet or exceed the BC Energy Step Code requirements;
- Percentage of registered electric vehicles;
- Number of illegal dumping reports;
- Stream water quality; and
- Percentage of homes within a five-minute (400-metre) walk of a green space.
The City will provide information in late summer about opportunities to provide feedback on the refined draft ESP in September and October. In the meantime, those interested in learning more may download a PDF of the current draft plan at www.coquitlam.ca/enviroplan or view the public engagement page at www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/enviroplan.
City of Coquitlam