The City of Surrey, BC, has developed a Community Climate Action Strategy (CCAS) designed to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. First is the Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP), Surrey's blueprint for actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improve air quality and decrease energy consumption. Surrey aims to reduce community-generated GHG emissions 33 per cent by 2020, and 80 per cent by 2050, relative to 2009 levels. The second component is the Climate Adaptation Strategy, which lays the foundation for responding to climate change over the coming decades; addressing potential impacts on flood management, ecosystems, food security, health and safety. Key elements of the CCAS will be integrated into the city's Enterprise Risk Management framework, ensuring that plans accounts for climate risks, and that progress is reported.
Together, the plans should reduce energy bills and foster economic activity and employment opportunities. They will also help support the local food and agriculture sector, and improve public health and emergency preparedness.
Approved by city council in November 2013, the CCAS was developed with support from FCM's Green Municipal Fund (GMF 11040).
52% per capita reduction in residential GHG emissions by 2040
Better air quality and reduced per capita resource consumption
Protected green space to support stormwater management, erosion control, air and water quality, and cooler ambient temperatures
Reduced energy spending, increased economic activity, and job creation
$800 million community-wide annual energy savings by 2040
$679 million community-wide annual transportation savings by 2040
Enhanced affordability, liveability, community engagement, health and safety
Improved access to locally grown food
Better emergency preparedness
Increased community resilience and greater connection among citizens
Simultaneously developing two large plans demanded significant staff input and coordination with consultants and stakeholders.
An online community engagement platform for soliciting citizen input would have been available earlier in the process.
Outcome modeling was critical to the process, but it was technical and occasionally difficult to explain. Simple graphics helped to communicate the results and explain the environmental implications of different policy choices.
Integrating mitigation and adaptation strategies can maximize common benefits, reduce conflicts and trade-offs and coordinate climate-related efforts.
Focusing on interdepartmental collaboration from the outset builds ownership, and prompts departments to take the lead on implementation.
Using existing indicators in performance measures can create economies of scale and make for more effective implementation.