April 9-16, 2007

FCM grants help western communities deal with climate change, plan for growth

The city of Coquitlam, British Columbia, has been awarded a $25,000 Green Municipal Fund (GMF) grant to help it complete the first three milestones of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)'s Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program. This includes updating the city's corporate (municipal) and community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory and forecast, setting a corporate emissions reductions target, and developing a corporate local action plan.

Coquitlam has been a PCP member since 1997. The FCM program provides services and tools to municipal governments to deal with the challenges of climate change. By joining PCP, 144 Canadian municipal governments, representing 70% of the population, have committed to reduce greenhouse gases and act on climate change.

FCM receives technical support for PCP from ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the co-ordinator of a 600-member worldwide network of communities addressing climate change. PCP receives financial support from the Green Municipal Fund as part of its capacity building program.

Another GMF grant of $47,500 has been awarded to the town of Carstairs, Alberta to conduct a planning study to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is in place to support projected community growth in a sustainable manner. The town estimates that implementing the study recommendations could help reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1,200 tonnes and nitrogen oxides emissions by 150 kilograms.

The road and transportation portion of the study will include a review of bylaws and policies, and will address the need for a more efficient transportation network to help mitigate carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide impacts. An integrated pathway system linking the various areas of the community will be considered to help reduce motor vehicle emissions.

"The study will assess future development impacts on the town's ability to provide water, sewer, transportation and stormwater management services," said Carstairs mayor Lance Colby. "It will produce a sequence for development that will take population thresholds into account and relate expected growth to land use requirements and infrastructure needs. This will enable Carstairs to decrease both operating and capital costs by planning infrastructure maintenance and future upgrades on population growth."

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