Caledon declares a climate emergency

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(January 29, 2020) The Town of Caledon is joining a growing chorus of local governments in Canada and around the world recognizing the urgency of taking action on climate change.

On January 28, 2020 Town Council unanimously passed a motion declaring a climate emergency in Caledon. The motion recognized the science behind climate change and the many impacts that are already being felt across Canada and in Caledon.

It also directed staff to report back to Council on the scale of action required by the Town and community to keep global warming to 1.5°C, as recommended by the International Panel on Climate Change, and to develop a plan to ban single use plastics in corporate facilities.

“Caledon has a long history of environmental stewardship, we need to build on that and address the urgent climate change crisis,” said Mayor Allan Thompson. “We’ve experienced our own share of climate impacts here in Caledon including severe flooding, ice storms, and dry summers that really affect our residents, businesses, and agriculture sector. We need to both prepare for these climate impacts, and significantly lower our greenhouse gas emissions, and we need to do it fast.”

This emergency declaration was inspired by a presentation made by ecoCaledon, a local environmental non-profit organization with over 25 years’ experience promoting programs, projects and activities to enhance and protect Caledon’s environment and to reverse climate change. Their presentation highlighted the urgency of climate change and asked Council to declare a climate emergency.

“By declaring a Climate Emergency, Council has shown they are committed to being an environmental leader,” said John MacRae, Co-Chair of ecoCaledon (ecocaledon.org). “The Town will be engaging the Caledon community to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the future for our children and grandchildren. We have a lot of work ahead, but ecoCaledon is looking forward to working with the Town to take meaningful action on climate change.”

The Town is currently in the process of updating its 2011 Community Climate Change Action Plan. The new plan, called Resilient Caledon, will develop actions to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and prepare for increasing climate impacts.

In 2017, Caledon also joined the Global Covenant of Mayors, a coalition of municipal governments from around the world that are committed to taking action on climate change.

The Town has also convened a Climate Change Task Force made up of Town staff, agency partners, and local residents and businesses to advise on the development of the new climate change plan.

The final climate change plan will go to Council for approval this fall. To find out more about Resilient Caledon, visit www.caledon.ca/climatechange.

 

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