Kingston City Council endorses Climate Leadership Plan

At last night’s City Council meeting, members of Council unanimously endorsed the Kingston Climate Leadership Plan (CLP), which 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. 

Members of Kingston City Council vote unanimously in favour of the Kingston Climate Leadership Plan at their meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, held virtually over Zoom. Councillor Peter Stroud was absent for the vote.

According to a release from the City, dated Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, this is a milestone moment in the City’s journey towards true climate change resiliency and is one of the first plans of this kind in Canada.

“On behalf of City Council, I am proud to endorse this forward-looking document,” said Mayor Bryan Paterson.

The City said that the Climate Leadership Plan outlines 10 objectives and 54 actions in five target areas, including: transportation, building and energy production, waste, food and forestry. According to the release, 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,” said 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!”

According to the release, 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, the City said it’s what comes next that will determine the plan’s success.

“The road ahead will not be easy but nothing worthwhile ever is,” said 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 take informed and aggressive steps to reduce GHG emissions, according to the release. 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, the City said.

Review the Climate Leadership Plan (Exhibit A) online.

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