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A Key Time for our Climate Change Campaign

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What to watch for!

The month between the end of April and the end of May is expected to be momentous in terms of our city’s plans on climate change.

Date Event – Activity
29-April-2014
Ecology Ottawa hosts a climate change panel discussion. You’re welcome to attend, see details below
13-May-2014
The city is expected to make public its new climate change management plan
28-May-2014
The city’s Environment Committee meets, hopefully to approve the new plan
20-May-2014
Full City Council meet, again hopefully to approve the new plan

Your efforts continue to make a difference.

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.

A year ago Mayor Jim Watson addressed the GHG Roundtable at City Hall saying “the City of Ottawa is committed to renewing the Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan to include renewed GHG reduction targets for both community and corporate emissions.”

He made that promise because hundreds of people had told city hall this issue is important to them.

Despite a lack of news coming out from the city after the Roundtable we’re now on the cusp of progress.

In the fall of last year Ecology Ottawa became aware that city staff were indeed preparing a revised climate change management plan. We know that the city has consulted with subject-area experts about best practices. We believe the revised plan will encompass both climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation; which means they’ll be trying to both reduce emissions and trying to plan for what climate change will inevitably bring to our city.

The new document is expected to come before council in May. The schedules of city council meetings etc. mean that the revised climate change management plan should appear on the City of Ottawa website on May 13. Ecology Ottawa will be watching for it; we will let you know what we think of it; and we’ll ask you for your input.

The reason we’re at this point is because Ecology Ottawa supporters just like you told the mayor or their Councillor that climate change should be something our city takes action on. The messages of their voters created the political will. We are optimistic about the coming plan although we haven’t seen it.

But there’s more to do. Releasing a plan doesn’t bring down emissions or limit damage from extreme climatic events. With your help Ecology Ottawa will be working to ensure that the plan is a good one and that it actually gets funded and implemented.

We’d love your help. If you want to get more actively involved please email me and we can talk about what you can do.

For a full description of the background and current status on this issue, plus a list of what you can do to help, please visit Ecology Ottawa’s website.

Panel Discussion

While we’re waiting for that City of Ottawa plan you’ll be interested in the second of Ecology Ottawa’s discussion panels on local impacts of climate change:  Sick of Climate Change? Local Health Impacts in a Warming World

Is free and takes place Tuesday April 29 at the University of Ottawa. The event features local and international experts on how human health is already being affected by climate change. See full details here.

Please register to attend.

Thanks for all you do

Cheers
Charles Hodgson
Volunteer Climate Change Campaign Lead
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