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City seeking community input on ways to achieve carbon neutrality

Photo by Dominic Owens.

The City of Kingston is asking for community input to help shape the Climate Leadership Plan that will guide the city’s response to climate change, according to a release from the City, dated Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.

The big question being asked is: How is climate change impacting you? Answer it now at GetInvolved.CityofKingston.ca. (Other ways to offer input are listed below).

“By having a holistic understanding of how climate change affects our community, we can move forward with identifying and implementing sustainable solutions that will allow us to achieve a 15 per cent reduction in corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 2022, and carbon neutrality no later than 2040,” says Dave Roewade, Project Manager with the City’s Climate Leadership Division.

Starting today, and until Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, the City is asking the public to review climate change impact statements developed by leading and local experts – and aimed at capturing how climate change is affecting our community. Tell the City which impacts resonate with you, and if there are other impacts that should be considered.

“The City recognizes that we need to develop a climate action plan for our community that includes a diversity of voices,” says Roewade, underlining that a successful plan will require a community-wide effort.

“Please, engage with us. Tell your friends, family, and colleagues to be a part of this important community dialogue,” Roewade asks. 

According to the City, in addition to reviewing and submitting climate change impact statements, input is also being sought on the vision statement for a sustainable city, which was crafted by the community-built Climate Action Plan (2014).

Kingstonist reached out to the City for more details about this initiative:

K: Who are the local experts, and why are they involved, and what do they say?

Dave Roewade (DR):

  • (re Who): Engineering consultants and local representatives from organizations who play a role in reducing community emissions (such as post-secondary schools and businesses) as well as those managing critical infrastructure and services that can be impacted by extreme weather conditions such as city staff, Utilities Kingston, KFLA Public Health, the Conservation Authority;
  • (re Why): These are involved stakeholders that can provide insight into the challenges and opportunities relevant to Kingston;
  • (re What): What these stakeholders say is captured in the documents posted on our Get Involved website such as the primers and survey questions.  More information from the stakeholder engagement discussions will be made public as the process progresses into 2021 and in the final What We Heard report.

K: Why did the city choose 2040 as a target date?

DR: In the Kingston Strategic Plan, it states. “The City will lead by example with measurable, effective emission reductions, building retrofits and other energy efficiencies to become carbon neutral as soon as possible, and no later than 2040.”  Most targets currently focus on 2050.

K: And if experts are involved, why is the community opinion important?

DR: Community members play an important role for two reasons: 1) collectively, they can have a big influence on reducing community GHG emissions from the energy and fuels used at home and in their vehicles; and, 2) residents are impacted by changing climate conditions and extreme weather events.  Local experience, opinion and ideas are critical for success in terms of the Plan being relevant and responsive to the Community.

“Your input will inform the Climate Leadership Plan being developed in direct response to the climate emergency we find ourselves in,” Roewade said in the release from the City. While the Climate Leadership Plan will inform how the Corporation of the City of Kingston moves forward, it will also provide the community with guidance on how to tackle climate change, according to the release.

“We need to move forward as a community, and in order to do that, we need to ensure we have one vision and one plan.”

How to engage:

Due to COVID-19, and limits on in-person gatherings, City staff will receive input through a variety of channels. Ways you can engage, include:

  • Complete a survey and map climate change impacts on GetInvolved.CityofKingston.ca
  • Call 613-546-0000 ext. 1900, to complete the survey and provide feedback on the vision statement, by phone or request a paper copy be mailed to you.
  • Contact the project team by emailing [email protected] 
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