CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall City Council voted to declare a climate emergency at their meeting on Monday, Dec. 13.
By declaring a climate emergency, Cornwall joins 500 other Canadian municipalities in recognizing a climate crisis. Council had originally received a presentation about what declaring a climate emergency would mean for the city in November of this year.
In addition to declaring a climate emergency, Council has also committed the City to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the city to 40 to 50 per cent below their 2005 levels by 2030.
To do this, City administration proposes creating a climate action plan, which Council also approved, which administration estimates could cost the city $100,000.
The City will also begin working with Partners for Climate Protection (PCP), a non-profit organization that helps Canadian municipalities connect with climate change resources including funding opportunities.
The City of Cornwall, in partnership with the Future Climate Leaders project recently complete a survey of residents of Cornwall and the surrounding area to better understand their views of climate change and the City’s response.
Of the over 1,000 respondents, 72 per cent stated that they believed that the municipality had an impact on climate change and that they wanted to see the city do more to address it.
Overwhelmingly, respondents also wanted to see a greener Cornwall in a literal sense, wiht 93.5 per cent stating that they wanted the city to plant more trees.
Any immediate financial implications related to the declaration of a climate emergency are expected to be presented in the upcoming 2022 municipal budget.