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Action on Climate Change – An Integrated Approach

This page was last reviewed on May 19, 2022.

By signing on to the BC Climate Action Charter in 2010, the Village of Cumberland committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the community, to becoming carbon neutral, and creating a complete, compact and energy-efficient community.

Climate action is embedded within all aspects of Village work and within both high-level strategic policy and day-to-day operational plans. Goals and actions for climate adaptation and mitigation are included in the Official Community Plan to help guide land use development in a way that is more sustainable and better adapted to the anticipated effects of climate change. New infrastructure projects such as the Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades are designed to be resilient to future impacts of climate change.

Some actions are best taken at the regional level with the Comox Valley Regional District. Regional plans for solid waste management, transit, active transportation and air quality also prioritize climate action. The Village works closely with the CVRD on these initiatives.

Corporate Climate Action

In 2013, the Village completed a Corporate Climate Action Plan to create a roadmap for achieving carbon neutrality in Village operations. Village operations have been carbon neutral since 2014. The Village is recognized each year as a ‘Climate Action Community’ by the joint Provincial-UBCM Green Communities Committee and awarded Level 4 recognition, ‘Achievement of Carbon Neutrality’.

Community Climate Action

Priorities for community climate action are outlined in the 2014 Official Community Plan and organized around four key areas: transportation, land use, buildings, and local energy supply and infrastructure. Highlights of Cumberland’s climate change actions are listed below:

  • Cumberland is a regional leader in enabling compact growth. Secondary suites are allowed in most single family dwellings, and accessory dwelling units are allowed in the R1-A zone within a short walking distance to the Village core.
  • Most new commercial and industrial development is required to be solar ready, include covered bicycle parking and electric vehicle plug-ins, and include water conservation measures in site design and landscaping.
  • Restriction on wood burning appliances in new development were adopted in 2018 to help improve air quality and reduced emissions.
  • There are two public EV charging stations at the Visitor Centre, and several charging stations have been installed at business and accessory dwelling units since the requirement came into effect in 2017.
  • Consumption-based water billing began in 2014 after Village-wide installation of water meters. This reduced significantly reduced drinking water consumption and alleviated capacity concerns in the water system so that the Village is more resilient to drought conditions.
  • The existing active transportation network was assessed and mapped in 2021 so that improvements can be planned through the upcoming Transportation Master Plan project.
  • Parkland acquisition and restoration projects in Village parkland to enhance biodiversity and tree retention.

Highlights of planned projects in 2022:

  • High performance wastewater lagoon upgrade project will enhance treatment, restore natural flow conditions to a degraded wetland, improve habitat, and is designed to be resilient to climate change.
  • Four new public electric vehicle charging stations to be installed in downtown core.
  • Transportation Master Plan process includes a focus on active transportation to achieve a shift away from vehicle travel.
  • A Tree Bylaw to manage tree protection on private land to be prepared
  • CVRD-led greenhouse gas emission tracking to be extended to Village of Cumberland

Climate change is considered in all Village projects and decision, large and small. This page is just a selection of the more notable actions.

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