Province praises local government leadership on green buildings
Back in December, we blogged about how eight B.C. local governments — partners in Pembina's Green Building Leaders project — sent a joint letter to the province calling for the government to explore, and if feasible, implement requirements to improve the energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy in new and existing buildings in B.C.
Since the letter was sent, several other local governments in B.C. have echoed this message and sent letters of their own to the provincial government.
Well, we have good news. The local governments received a very positive response from Naomi Yamamoto, the minister of state for building code renewal, on behalf of the three ministries that received the letter. Yamamoto thanked the local governments for taking a leadership role in creating a more sustainable built environment, and she recognized that taking action on buildings is significant in helping the province meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
Yamamoto's letter also says that the province will continue to consider requirements for optional adoption by local governments, such as the solar hot water-ready requirements, which help local governments take a leadership role in green buildings. She appreciated the local governments' preference for a province-wide approach to green building policies and regulations, rather than a community-by-community approach.
We appreciate the effort that the local governments have taken to advance forward-looking green building regulations, and we're very pleased that the province is also recognizing this leadership.
The letter from the provincial government is important because it sets a stage for the provincial and local governments to be working together on more effective approaches to greener buildings that can help B.C. meet its climate change targets and benefit communities throughout the province. Pembina looks forward to continuing to work with both local and provincial governments as we move toward making this a reality.
Politicians haven't been the only ones paying attention to the leadership shown by the local governments: they've also been featured in The Tyee, the Dawson Creek Daily News, the Alaska Highway News and the Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News.
The Green Building Leaders that signed on to the original letter to the provincial government are: the City of Campbell River, City of North Vancouver, Cowichan Valley Regional District, City of Dawson Creek, City of Fort St. John, Regional District of Nanaimo, District of Tofino and the Resort Municipality of Whistler.
The City of Terrace and the Corporation of Delta have also contributed letters of support.
Josha MacNab is an energy policy expert with the Pembina Institute. She directs the Institute’s work in British Columbia, and is based in Vancouver.