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ClimateChangeandtheCityofOttawaEcologyOttawasObjectives

EcologyOttawasobjectiveswithregardstoclimatechangeinitiativesbytheCityofOttawaclosely parallelthestatedobjectivesoftheCityofOttawaitself. Municipalitiesandtheirresidents,likethoseintheCityofOttawa,representasignificantsourceofthe greenhousegasesthatcontributetoclimatechange.TheClintonFoundationestimatesthattwothirds ofallhumancausedgreenhousegasesoriginateincities.Thismakessense,sincehumancaused greenhousegasesarelikelytooriginatewherepeoplearemorehighlyconcentrated. Thegenerationofgreenhousegasesisbroadlyspreadacrossalmostallfacetsofhumanendeavourso governmentauthorityoveractivitiesthatcauseemissionsissimilarlydistributed.TheFederationof CanadianMunicipalitiesindicatesthatCanadianmunicipalitieshavedirectorindirectjurisdictionover 45%ofthegreenhousegasesproducedwithintheirboundaries.Whatsmore,becausethebulkof emissionstakeplaceincites,initiativesbythefederalandprovincialgovernmentsnecessarilyinvolve municipalitiestovaryingdegrees. RecognisingthesefactorstheCityofOttawasOfficialPlantakesresponsibilityforactiononclimate changeanddesignatessubordinateCityplansasthevehiclesbywhichtheseobligationsaretobe discharged.TwoofthesesubordinateplansaretheEnvironmentalStrategyandtheAirQualityand ClimateChangeManagementPlan,preparedin2003and2005respectively.Unfortunatelytheseplans arenowoutofdate. In1997theCityofOttawajoinedthePartnersforClimateProtectionprogramoftheFederationof CanadianMunicipalitiesandinJune2012reaffirmeditscommitmenttomaintainingitsstatuswith respecttothefivemilestonesofthePartnersforClimateProtectionprogram.Unfortunatelyasthe plansnotedabovegrowincreasinglyoutofdatethesemilestonestatusesbecomeincreasinglydifficult todefendasbeingachieved.ForexampleMilestone2isSettinganemissionsreductionstarget.The 2005AirQualityandClimateChangeManagementPlansetemissionstargetsfor2012,thesewerenot metandhavenotbeenreset.Thisplanisnotcurrentlybeingrevisedandnobudgetisallocatedto addresssucharevision. EcologyOttawasobjectivesarethattheCityofOttawaprotectresidentsfromtheeconomic,socialand environmentalcostsofclimatechangebyexecutingthedirectivesoftheOfficialPlananddeliveringon thecommitmentsofthePartnersforClimateProtectionprogram.InsodoingtheCitywillbothenhance Ottawasparticipationinthegrowinggreeneconomyanddeliveronourethicalresponsibilityto participateintheresolutionoftheclimatecrisis. TothatendtheCityneedsarevisedclimatechangestrategythatbringstogetherthosepositive initiativesitisalreadyundertakingwiththoseopportunitiesstillavailable,whichincombinationwill resultinrealandsubstantialreductionsinemissionsoverthecomingyearsanddecades. Formoreinformationpleasecall6138605353oremailinfo@ecologyottawa.ca