In a blink of an eye we’re in December, reflecting on another year that’s passed. Last month BCSEA hosted our 2022 annual general meeting. The virtual event took place on November 23rd, 2022 where we went over several successes we had over the past year, including four webinars and the re-introduction of in-person events:
- Victoria Home Show (Victoria)
- Canada Day Picnic on the Gorge (Victoria)
- 4th annual Women in Sustainable Energy (WiSE; Vancouver)
- Passivehouse Tour (Vancouver)
- Vernon Winter Carnival (Okanagan)
We heard from Bill Andrews and Tom Hackney on the current BC Utilities Commission interventions that BCSEA is involved in:
- Long-Term Plans and the Sustainable Energy Transition:
- BC Hydro: electrification plan, conservation & efficiency, EV charging
- FortisBC gas utility: biomethane, conservation & efficiency, hydrogen, CCS
- FortisBC electric utility: market purchases of clean electricity, conservation & efficiency, EV charging, resiliency
- Energy Efficiency and Conservation (Demand Side Management)
- Renewable Gas
- FortisBC Revised Renewable Gas Program
- Sourcing and delivering Renewable Natural Gas (RNG; biomethane)
- Creating RNG and tradable offsets
- H₂ (green, blue, turquoise, etc.), syngas, lignin
- Electric Vehicles and EV charging
- Government mandate for province-wide DC fast charging network
- Rate design and rates for DC fast charging services
- Measurement Canada’s metering initiative for EV charging stations
- Shifting EV charging peaks off utility peak load hours
- Charging equity and accessibility
- District Energy Systems
- Guidelines for Thermal Energy Services and inquiry into the regulation of municipal utilities
Fergus Kinnaird presented on the year’s Cool-It! achievements;
- 248 classes conducted by 12 Environmental Educators (a 25% increase from last year)
- 5,779 students in Grades 4 to 12 engaged in climate challenges that resulted in an estimated 1,587 tons of CO2e emissions avoided.
Additionally, after a membership vote we welcomed three new directors to BCSEA’s board:
At the AGM we also shared some of the challenges we faced in 2022:
- Sadly we had to say goodbye to our Kamloops Chapter this fall. A big thank you to Rob Purdy, Deb Alore and the rest of the Kamloops steering committee for leading the charge up until October.
- After making a considerable investment in developing a new website and CRM system late last year, we were unfortunately faced with a number of issues with functionality. Members may have noticed that your monthly membership fees were not being collected this year — this was a result of website issues, heavily impacting our expected income in 2022. We kindly ask that members who did not incur monthly membership fees consider supporting the BCSEA through an end-of-year donation in lieu. We have a dedicated team of volunteers supporting website improvements, and hope to be able to provide you with an aesthetic and easy to use resource for sustainable energy as soon as possible. A special thank you to Paul Rasmussen, Tracy Tilscher and Johanna Fuldafor for their time and dedication towards working on improving our website functionality.
Beyond our proverbial four-walls, we’re seeing the energy and sustainability landscape changing fast. The IEA projects that the world economy will be moving from a fuel-intensive to a mineral-intensive energy system that will “supercharge demand for critical minerals.” Critical minerals are essential for batteries, electric cars, wind turbines, and solar panels — the federal government recently announced Canada’s $3.8-billion Critical Minerals Strategy. Critical minerals must be mined, a process that uses considerable amounts of water, permanently altering the landscape and further depletes biodiversity – an exceptionally critical issue COP15 in Montreal is aiming to address this month.
Capital market regulators are starting to get serious about climate change. In Europe the recently adopted Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will require all large companies to disclose data on the impact of their activities on people and the planet, and any sustainability risks they are exposed to. This includes disclosure of Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States is following suit, with a proposal out to include standardized climate disclosure for publicly traded companies that follows the framework outlined in the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which includes disclosure of physical and transitional risks posed by climate change, Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, and financial impacts of climate change scenario analysis. Implementing the proposed ruling will hold publicly traded companies accountable for showing progress towards any net-zero commitments made. Additionally, the newly formed International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) under the IFRS have confirmed that disclosure of Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions will be required. This means that companies will be expected to consider sustainability across their value chains, including suppliers, transportation, logistics, outsourcing, customer utilization and product disposal. This will force most corporations to think very differently about environmental compliance, governance and long-term strategy – a welcomed change that our community will be eager to watch unfold.
On behalf of the BC Sustainable Energy Association, I’d like to thank you for your continuous interest and support, and wish you and your loved ones a restful and healthy holiday season. We look forward to continuing to take action on climate change and build upon our momentum for a prosperous and sustainable 2023.