- do our fair share in reducing our city’s contribution to climate change; and
- plan for how the city will cope with the changes climate change is bringing.
For many years these efforts appeared to go nowhere.
Through 2011 and 2012 Ecology Ottawa worked with supportive city councillors and city staff and achieved several important milestones:
- the city’s GHG Inventory* had been hung-up in back offices until Ecology Ottawa prompted its release;
- that document would have been read into the record without debate but Ecology Ottawa influenced it to be discussed at Environment Committee;
- that discussion highlighted missed GHG reduction targets from past city climate change management plans and opened the opportunity to do something about it;
- Ecology Ottawa worked with supportive councillors to draft a motion which passed Environment Committee and full City Council to hold a GHG Roundtable;
- through 2012 when there was no evidence that the Roundtable was being organized Ecology Ottawa undertook a campaign to encourage the city to get on with it, until in late 2012 the Mayor promised it would happen in Q1 2013;
- still there was no public sense, nor any sense through private conversations with city staff or supportive councillors, that there was political will to take action on climate change.
Finally in early 2013 there was a breakthrough. At the March 23 GHG Roundtable Mayor Jim Watson assumed a prominent role and vowed that the city would renew its Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan by mid-2014.
See also these links on what you can do to fight climate change, the five point countdown:
Also, have you signed the Ottawa Climate Pledge?
*GHG is shorthand for “greenhouse gas” – those emissions such as carbon dioxide (also known as CO2) and methane which, as their concentrations increase, are responsible for trapping more heat in earth’s atmosphere.