What a year it’s been! Looking back at 2018, our local movement to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada has never been stronger or more energized.
This is due to you. Our movement is people-powered, driven in huge part by hundreds of volunteers and thousands of donors.
So thank you for making 2018 a smashing success. Below, we provide a quick re-cap on the year that was and point to new directions for 2019. We hope you’ll help power this important work into 2019 by making a donation. The King Foundation has generously pledged $15,000 if we can secure 30 new monthly donors, and we hope you’ll help us reach this goal.
What happened in 2018? There’s a long answer and a short one. For the long answer, please click here. For the short answer, check out our Top 3 Accomplishments list below.
#1: Organizing to elect a greener city council
Every election presents a strategic opportunity to push environmental issues onto the agenda, engage candidates and mobilize the environmental vote. The 2018 municipal election featured our largest candidate engagement effort to date (30 candidates), massive candidate engagement in our all-candidates’ survey (over 80 responses), four environmental debates in all corners of the city (with 500 participants), and mobilization of thousands of environmentally-minded voters on election day.
The result? This council is much greener than the last one. Most elected councillors are committed to advancing on key environmental issues. While there will surely be challenges, the stage is set for meaningful improvements across a range of environmental issues in 2019.
#2: Making huge headway on green infrastructure and trees
As cities wrestle with climate impacts like heat waves and flooding, more and more are turning to a powerful solution: green infrastructure, the living and built systems that slow down, soak up and filter water where it falls. In 2018, Ecology Ottawa issued a report on the state of green infrastructure in Ottawa, attracted media attention with our push for a green roofs bylaw and launched a door-to-door outreach program. Meanwhile, we continued our efforts to revitalize Ottawa with trees – a vital ingredient in green infrastructure solutions. With the help of dozens of volunteers, 9,000 trees entered the hands of Ottawa residents city-wide.
Stay tuned for more exciting work on green infrastructure next year, as well as our largest-ever tree campaign effort to date.
#3: Keeping climate change accountability on the agenda
In June, the provincial election produced a new government promising to change course on climate action. The province’s new approach to climate change has been alarming. The dismantling of cap-and-trade threatens to derail the city’s climate progress by cutting projects like housing retrofits and new infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.
In November, the city released new emissions data. While the city is making some progress, its slow pace and lack of policy ambition point to a need for ongoing vigilance and public engagement in the years ahead.
In 2019, we will continue to put climate change front and centre in the public conversation, and to get results for our city. We can only do this with people power. Stay tuned for steps on how you can drive climate results in Ottawa starting in January.