Letter: Kingston residents urge Council to increase 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target without delay

Kingstonist file photo.

Editor’s note: The following is a submitted letter from SCAN! and 350 Kingston, urging City Council to increase 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Kingstonist. 

As Kingston City Council prepares to deliberate this Tuesday evening on a staff report recommending that they wait until mid-2025 before deciding whether or not to increase Kingston’s corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target, citizens are urging councillors to reject the call for delay.

“It’s been nearly 5 years since Kingston declared a climate emergency. On the heels of the worst wildfire season in Canadian history, and the hottest year on record, we need urgent action,” said Phyllis Waugh, Chair of the Kingston chapter of Seniors for Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)

SCAN! and 350 Kingston, another local group focused on climate action, submitted an open letter to City Council on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024, calling for councillors to strengthen the 2030 corporate and community climate targets without delay. The letter was co-signed by ten other organizations and businesses, as well as over 170 individuals. 

At the City Council meeting on Tuesday night, citizens will share their deep concerns about the escalating climate crisis, and urge councillors to pass a motion directing staff to immediately adopt a stronger corporate GHG reduction target of 50 per cent below 2018 levels by 2030.

“Climate scientists have been clear that, if we are to secure a liveable future, we must halve emissions by 2030. More than 700 cities globally have committed to meet or exceed that goal. It’s time for Kingston to act like the climate leader we claim to be,” said Gavin Hutchison, a founding member of 350 Kingston.

Supporters in attendance at the meeting plan to wear face masks bearing the phrase “later is too late,” a nod to the unprecedented wildfires that filled Kingston’s air with dangerous levels of smoke last summer.

“When Kingston became the first city in Ontario to declare a climate emergency back in 2019, it made me so proud to be a Kingstonian. We have so much potential to lead the fight against the climate crisis here. I hope councillors will show the courage we’re asking for this week so that staff can get on with this vital work,” said Sarah Gordon, a graduate student in Biology at Queen’s University.

SCAN and 350 Kingston
Kingston-based climate action organizations

Share your views! Submit a Letter to the Editor or an Op/Ed article to Kingstonist’s Editor-in-Chief Tori Stafford at [email protected].

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