The Town of Bracebridge appears ready to join the District of Muskoka in declaring a climate emergency.
During a recent Bracebridge general committee meeting, representatives from Climate Action Muskoka (CAM) spoke to councillors about the immediate need to declare a climate emergency.
Representing CAM, Amy Snow requested that the Town of Bracebridge set a target of 50% greenhouse gas reduction by 2030, and zero emissions by 2050. That amounts to an 8% reduction in greenhouse gases annually.
“We have no more time to waste,” said Snow. “We are in the midst of a crisis…and our greatest existential threat.”
Snow said we are on track for more catastrophic events due to global heating if nothing is done immediately. She said we must strive to keep global warming under 1.5° which is the critical target number.
She also pointed out that in December 2020 the District passed a resolution declaring a climate emergency and Gravenhurst council passed a similar resolution in April 2021.
Declaring an emergency would have multiple different effects, she said. That includes facilitating collaboration between government and non-government agencies and organizations, and maximizing resources and staff.
She urged the council to create a plan to help them meet their target.
Councillor Don Smith told the CAM group that the resolution needs to have broad community engagement and support. He questioned what the group was doing to encourage that.
The group said CAM represents a wide cross-section of the community including lake associations, businesses and community organizations. She said they are focused on reaching out to community members through their community carbon challenge. As part of that challenge, people are being encouraged to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in their personal lives.
Council was supportive of the resolution but they requested it be sent to staff for a more fulsome investigation of what the resolution will entail.
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