Top Asks For Climate Action released today

June 9, 2016

Canada must act quickly if we are to meet our international climate change commitments, and local governments are central to achieving our goals. Local governments influence over 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The reality is clear: Canada can’t be a leader without local government action. 

I was thrilled to be asked to work with the Columbia Institute on this new report, Top Asks for Climate Action – Ramping Up Low Carbon CommunitiesTop Asks pinpoints key actions federal and provincial and territorial governments can take to empower low carbon communities.

If there is one thing that all orders of governments should be able to agree on it is a shared desire to see all Canadians living in resilient, sustainable, and prosperous communities. Federal, provincial, and territorial government can act without delay to support local governments take action on climate change.

The transition to low carbon and climate resilient communities has many co-benefits that contribute directly to our quality of life and well-being— from strengthening local and regional economies, helping people save money on their energy bills, improving air quality and protecting green space.

Ontario’s Five Year Climate Change Action Plan, released yesterday, confirms the importance of local governments in achieving science-based targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas pollution whether it is promoting active transportation like walking and cycling, valuing natural capital like forests and wetlands or mainstreaming climate change policies into land use planning decisions.  There are many ways local governments can support their residents and business make a difference on climate change.  Ontario’s success will be determined by individuals deciding to make a difference where they live and work.