April 26, 2018
A new report card released today by the Urban Climate Alliance (UCA) shows how municipal governments in Ottawa, Toronto, Oakville, Hamilton and Windsor are getting ready for climate change and the news isn’t good. A key reason? The Province needs to properly use the tools at its disposal, like carbon pricing, to help cities implement their plans.
“Cities are on the front line of dealing with climate change in Ontario. Our report shows key cities are failing in some key areas like financing the plans, meeting their implementation timelines and engaging communities,” said Lynda Lukasik, Executive Director of Environment Hamilton. “That’s why the Provincial Government needs to ensure enough Provincial dollars are available to municipalities to implement their plans.”
The environmental groups undertook a detailed analysis of climate action planning in their municipality. “The report card results are nothing to be proud of,” said Robb Barnes, Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. “What is really striking is how all 5 cities are failing in similar ways. This suggests the problems need Provincial help to solve.”
“The good news is that the City Councils in the 5 cities we looked at actually have developed plans to deal with climate change,” said Derek Coronado, Executive Director Citizens Environment Alliance from Windsor. “The bad news is that City Councils aren’t meeting key deadlines.”
“It’s clear cities need help from the Province to make buildings more energy efficient, reduce dependence on gasoline for moving people and things, and update city infrastructure to deal with severe weather,” said Giuliana Casimirri, Executive Director of Oakvillegreen Conservation Association. “The Province has an extremely powerful financial tool to accomplish this with -carbon pricing- and it needs to use it more.”
“These report card results are a wakeup call,” said Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance. “Cities need help and the Province has the means to help them.”
The Urban Climate Alliance is a collective of urban-based environmental groups made up of Ecology Ottawa, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Environment Hamilton, Oakvillegreen Conservation Association and Citizens Environment Alliance (Windsor).