Last night, members of Council unanimously endorsed the Kingston Climate Leadership Plan (CLP) - a milestone moment in the City’s journey towards true climate change resiliency.
One of the first plans like it in Canada, the CLP identifies actions the City and the community must take to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve carbon neutrality no later than 2040, and adapt to impacts already being experienced.
“On behalf of City Council, I am proud to endorse this forward-looking document,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson.
The Climate Leadership Plan outlines 10 objectives and 54 actions in five target areas, including: transportation, building and energy production, waste, food and forestry. It was developed over the past two years in consultation with the community, subject matter experts, and people with lived experience. The plan takes into account best practices, upcoming plans, and evolving technology.
“This is truly a community-built document,” says Julie Salter-Keane, Manager of the City’s Climate Leadership Division. “I thank everyone who took the time to engage in the process of creating this strategy, including but not limited to the members of our Community Advisory Group, our Mitigation and Adaptation Technical Teams, and our residents!” says Salter-Keane. The plan will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure it is helping the corporation and community reach its GHG reduction targets quickly and effectively.
While the approval of the plan marks a milestone moment, it’s what comes next that will determine the plan’s success.
“The road ahead will not be easy but nothing worthwhile ever is,” says Salter-Keane. “In the coming months, we will be forming a Working Group to ensure the actions outlined are implemented not just by the municipality but community-wide.”
Mayor Paterson hopes Kingstonians continue to support this essential work. “In speaking with community members, I know there is real and genuine interest in addressing climate change. One of the best ways to take climate action today is by learning more about the Climate Leadership Plan, and the role you can play in helping achieve carbon neutrality in our community!”
In 2019, Kingston became the first municipality in Ontario to declare a climate emergency. The City continues to demonstrate leadership on climate action by taking informed and aggressive steps to reduce GHG emissions. In 2021, the City received approval and funding for a Green Standard Community Improvement Plan to incentivize net-zero development, and in 2022 will launch a home energy retrofit program called Better Homes Kingston that will remove barriers for residents who want to make their homes more energy and cost efficient.
Review the Climate Leadership Plan (Exhibit A) now, and stay tuned for more updates from the Climate Leadership Division in 2022!