Bracebridge council has joined a number of area municipalities in declaring a climate emergency.
During the last general committee meeting, councilors voted to pass the motion, which includes the establishment of a baseline Climate Action Plan (CAP) to reduce corporate and community GHG emissions.
Coun. Archie Buie said the move is timely, given that Canada has set new record high temperatures twice in the past month. He said anyone who denies there is a climate emergency is simply burying their head in the sand.
As part of the motion, the Town has agreed to identify firm, ambitious targets with a goal of greater than 50% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030 and reaching zero GHG emissions by 2050.
Coun. Mark Quemby was supportive of the motion but questioned what the Town can do to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of businesses since they don’t have authority to force them to make changes.
CAO Steven Rettie said the motion will be considered with all corporate policy going forward but the actions municipalities can take are somewhat limited. He stressed the importance of lobbying upper-tier governments to enact legislation to help deal with the situation.
Part of the motion states the Town of Bracebridge will urge both Provincial and Federal governments and opposition parties to work rapidly to deliver the GHG emission reductions needed to keep global heating below the 1.5°C goal to minimize the threatening impacts of climate change.
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