Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Thoughts on UBC's Sustainability Plan in Advance of Dec. 5/19 Board Meeting

These are rough notes that gather some of my overarching questions about the plan and set of documents summarizing it as presented to the UBC Board of Governors for discussion at the Dec. 5/19 meeting. 

Action Plan - carbon neutrality by 2050 - twice too long. We are overdue for this, it should already be in place. We should be aiming for carbon neutrality in 5 years not 30.

Strategic partnerships - what are the material outputs of these, beyond roundtables .

Transportation - 2/3rds of trips in transit - what about the rise of short haul vehicle trips related to constant housing development? How does continued housing development effect transpiration numbers (and don’t say skytrain, please).

Looking forward. Is it enough to constantly point to being the first to do something? Especially when being first becomes more prominent than making a life saving difference?

Indigenous Engagement - there is nothing there to show how that has any connection to resolving the climate emergency. Hard to understand how any of the Indigenous items included in this report relate to sustainability and resolving the climate emergency. This is not to say Indigenous engagement has nothing to say with climate action -ti does, it is rather to say that the items presented don’t present as related to addressing climate action.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Does UBC really care about the climate crises? No mitigation plans in building proposals.

Then, there is no attempt to assess the cumulative effects on adverse climate effects of the construction of this building in the adjoining precinct that is currently the site of massive construction with more anticipated.
Finally, there is no indication in these preliminary plans whether the units associated with the project are anticipating further expansion of their programs or if this is part of a status quo perpetual growth model.

There is one minor nod to climate change - not a mitigation, rather an adaptation- the reserving of a space of the roof for a heat exchange system in the event increased cooling is required.
It is unclear just how improved air conditioning can do anything substantial toward mitigating the adverse climate change effects this continued construction is producing.