UPDATE: This article has been updated to clarify that Council will receive a presentation on climate emergency declarations, rather than voting on a resolution to declare a climate emergency.
CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall City Council will receive a presentation on declaring climate change an emergency at their meeting on Monday, Nov. 8 and what such a declaration would mean for the city.
The resolution recommends that “the City of Cornwall declares a climate emergency for purposes of
naming, framing and deepening our commitment to protecting our community, economy and ecosystems from the impacts of climate change.”
The resolution cites the warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and general consensus amongst environmental scientists that climate change is man made and poses a serious threat to life and property.
Over 500 other Canadian municipalities have adopted similar resolutions including Ontario municipalities such as Belleville, Peterborough, St. Catherines, and Whitby.
If passed, the resolution will call on the City of Cornwall to adopt the national Greenhouse Gas
(GHG) reduction target, which would commit the city to reducing its GHG emissions to below 2005 levels by 2030 with a goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
Passing the resolution could also see the city join the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP), a network of over 400 Canadian municipalities dedicated to helping each other reduce GHG emissions.
The City would join groups like Building Adaptive & Resilient Communities (BARC) and ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) to gain expert knowledge on how municipalities can fight climate change.
Finally, the City would follow the following five-step framework to create a climate action plan:
1. Creating a Baseline Emissions Inventory and Forecast;
2. Set Emissions Reductions Targets;
3. Develop a local action plan;
4. Implement the Local Action Plan;
5. Monitor progress and reporting results
The presentation to Council will be made by Georgia Bock, a member of the Environment and Climate Change Committee.