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2050 Is Too Late

May 19 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Waiting until 2050 to reach our climate goals is too late.

Guelph can make this happen quicker and better!

Guelph has two climate change targets for 2050: Net Zero Carbon (for the entire community) and 100% Renewable Energy (for the corporation of the City of Guelph). Last September Guelph released its first Sustainability Report on how we’re fighting climate change. Unfortunately, it showed that our greenhouse gas emissions went up between 2018 and 2019. Not a good start to say the least.

This approach to targets leaves little or no accountability for current decision makers. And technically, nothing needs to be done until 2049. We could also just buy carbon offsets instead of cutting greenhouse pollution. All of this leaves the door open to prolonging the use of fossil fuel.

Because of COVID-19, we fully expect the City’s 2020 report to show a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions, just like the rest of the economy. Will we be able to sustain that drop and keep reducing emissions fast enough post-pandemic? As a community we need to battle climate change aggressively on all fronts. Here is how the City can change the way we do it:

1- Review the 2050 target date for Net Zero carbon and 100%RE

All of the science is telling us that 2050 is way too late. As we develop, we must also re-evaluate this final target and bring it closer – much closer – to today.

2- Develop mandatory interim climate change targets:

With only one deadline – 2050 – how can we tell whether we are progressing well or falling behind on our goals? City Council must develop interim targets in 2-year increments. This gives us a much better method of understanding how we are – or aren’t progressing. Evidence is showing that we must be half way to our 2050 targets by 2030 to show real results.

3- Entrench climate change action into the Official Plan review.

All decisions that the city makes must include a ‘lens’ that ensures climate change is front and centre. With the City’s Official Plan now undergoing a review it must include a question like: ‘How will this decision help us reach our climate change goals? All decisions at all levels of city government must show how they are working towards our climate targets and not just give them ‘lip service’.

4- Empower City staff to bring their ideas forward to fight climate change

We have great staff working for us in many different departments at the city. Who better to understand the challenges and opportunities available to fast track fighting climate change efforts in their specific field of work? We can’t leave this to one small office to find all of the low hanging fruit of actions available to us and the city. We must empower all city staff to find their voice and help fight climate change everyday.

Will we be able to maintain the expected trend of lower energy use in the coming years?

Will we be able to meet our climate change targets?

 

Join us as we explore ways to meet our climate goals much sooner!

2050 is Too Late

7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

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