For Immediate Release
September 12th, 2016
On Climate Change, Think Globally, Act Locally: Mayor Crombie
Mississauga – Over 70 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are created in cities, so it is only fitting that we are a part of the solution, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said last week during a federal-provincial-territorial Ministers’ meeting on infrastructure in Edmonton.
“There are many examples across the country of cities taking the lead on climate change, but the critical point is that we cannot do this in isolation,” Mayor Crombie said. “Mississauga Council has undertaken a comprehensive climate change action plan with over 20 actions to address this issue. This was a direct response to COP21.”
“The effects of climate change are being most acutely felt in cities. Nearly 90% of all disasters are due to flooding and storms. The 100 year storm is quickly becoming the 10 year storm and even the 5 year storm. This was seen in 2013 during the Calgary flood and a few months later with the Toronto and Mississauga floods.”
“Cities are bearing the costs of these extreme weather events. We need to think globally, but act locally.”
While the Trudeau government and many provincial governments are taking the lead on climate change by setting emission reduction targets, and implementing programs to put a price on carbon, municipalities bear the cost of much of the infrastructure involved in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
“I’m proud to be from Ontario where my Premier, Kathleen Wynne, has shown great leadership on this file through the recently announced Ontario climate change strategy,” Mayor Crombie said to a delegation of representatives from across the country.
We need a coordinated federal-provincial-municipal approach that sees all three levels of government work in partnership to address this massive challenge, Mayor Crombie said, adding that reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions lies in tackling local priorities like: transit; building retrofits; district heating; active transit, electric vehicle infrastructure; and improved waste management services.
Municipalities would like Phase 2 of the Trudeau government’s infrastructure plan to focus on:
- Dedicated, predictable support of capital costs of large scale climate change adaptation and mitigation projects, though programs similar to the Federal Gas Tax fund will make a difference.
- Phase 2 should include a dedicated carve-out for capital costs of major climate change mitigation projects at the local level
- Municipalities are modelling some of Canada’s lowest-carbon practices—from efficient buildings, to district energy, to active transportation. Federal investment can activate local expertise to scale up the most cost-effective GHG reductions.
- We also need to make all infrastructure investment decisions through a climate change lens to ensure that it is built to withstand the environmental realities of the future, while working to reduce the environmental foot print today, and reduce GHG emissions
- Finally, we need to coordinate on a national level on measures such as flood mapping to ensure municipalities have the tools and resources to plan their growth and development with climate change in mind.
“The federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments need to work together to develop our plans and ensure we are working in concert,” Mayor Crombie concluded.