The municipality plans to cut its 2007 greenhouse gas emission levels by at least 10 per cent over the next four years, according to a plan endorsed by council Tuesday night.

Original article published by Keven Drews in the Westcoaster.ca on August 28, 2008.

Under the Ucluelet Energy & GHG Emission Inventory Report and Reduction Plan, the district will also reduce its carbon footprint in short, medium and long-term phases, create an eco-procurement policy for replacing and purchasing municipal equipment and adopt the use of electric vehicles.

Meantime, municipal staff will improve its data measurement and collection systems for fuel and travel.

“I'm really excited about it,” said Mayor Dianne St. Jacques.

“It's all about being sustainable and responsible. So many of these things are so doable.”

St. Jacques said it's important for our society to acknowledge it has taken for granted its use fossil fuels.

The report and reduction plan was written by Lea Thuot, a Vancouver Island University student working in Ucluelet's planning department.

Ucluelet is already one of 123 BC municipalities to participate in the BC Climate Action Charter, a document which requires signatories to become carbon neutral by 2012 and reduce their 2007 greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020.

Ucluelet was also the first local government to participate in the Carbon Smart Workgroup organized by Ecotrust Canada and the Pembina Institute this past March and April.

Of Ucluelet's total municipal greenhouse gas emissions in 2006, 44 per cent came from landfill waste, 30 per cent came from vehicles, 10 per cent came from electricity, nine per cent came from staff and council travel and seven per cent came from heating the recreation hall.

The report also compared greenhouse gas emissions from municipal buildings in 2006 and 2007.

In 2006, the public works trailer emitted less than .1 tonne, the fire hall less than .7 tonnes, the recreation hall and fields just over .7 tonnes, the municipal building just over .8 tonnes and the public works building just under .6 tonnes.

In 2007, the public works trailer emitted less than .1 tonne, the fire hall just over .8 tonnes, the recreation hall and fields .9 tonnes, the municipal building just under .9 tonnes and the public works building just under .6 tonnes.

Thuot based those figures on the 2006 Ucluelet Corporate Energy Inventory, and municipal bills and expenses entered into tools developed by the Carbon Smart Workgroup.

She said by 2010 all local governments will be required to address greenhouse gas emissions in their Official Community Plans.

“If Ucluelet would address these recommendations, you'll be ahead of the game in terms of reductions,” she said.