Jul 10, 2019

In 2018 Tay Valley Council formed the Green Energy and Climate Change Working Group and subsequently applied to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Partners for Climate Protection program for funding to develop a plan to address climate change in the Township. Approximately 65% of the Canadian population lives in communities which have such plans.

With funding from the Federation, the Township has hired Sue Brandum to assist the Working Group in developing the Climate Change Plan. Brandum is the former manager of the Rideau Environmental Action League and has a long history of working on climate and energy issues.

“As one of the first actions to develop the plan, we have posted a short survey that asks our residents a number of questions including how they heat their homes, how much they drive, whether they grow some of their own food, and what types of garbage they produce,” said Reeve Brian Campbell. “We’ll only be using the data in a collated form, not identified by individual,” he added.

The survey is available on the Township website at https://forms.tayvalleytwp.ca/Building-and-Planning-Department/Climate-Change-Survey  as well as in paper form at the municipal office, waste sites, and other locations around the Township.  The project has a very tight time frame. Over the next six months, Brandum and the Working Group will gather data on the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) generated by the municipality itself (for example, from its buildings, fleet, street lighting, and landfills) as well as from the community at large.

“Once the data are collected, the Township will hold public meetings to work out how, together, we can make substantial emissions reductions,” said Deputy Reeve Barrie Crampton.

A key report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year stated the world had only until 2030 to cut its emissions by 45% and until 2050 to virtually eliminate GHGs. A subsequent report showed that most of Canada is heating at twice the pace of the rest of the world. “People everywhere have a lot of work to do, to meet that goal, but frankly it will be much less expensive to work to constrain climate change than it will be to bear the costs,” said Councillor Rob Rainer, a member of the Working Group. “Here in Tay Valley we will seek out and support opportunities for existing businesses to retool and to grow new business and new activities that are healthier for us and for the Township.”

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