Urgent Invitation: Your Chance to Put the City Back on Track

We’ve worked for months to get the City of Ottawa back on track to do its fair share in the fight against climate change and we’re writing to let you know that there’s a critical meeting coming up and you’re invited!

The City of Ottawa has officially announced that they are holding a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Roundtable on Saturday, March 23rd from 9am to 2pm at City Hall and they are extending an open invitation to anyone interested in this important issue.

If you believe that all levels of government have a role to play in addressing one of the biggest challenges facing humanity today, then we are asking you to RSVP your attendance to the March 23rd public forum. There will be panel presentations, Q&A sessions, and group discussions. You can come to listen and learn or, better yet, help us send a message to City Hall that it’s time for action. Space is limited, so don’t miss this opportunity to help move the city in the right direction.

All you have to do to register your participation is send an email to the City at [email protected] and let them know that you would like to attend.

The City will confirm your participation and send you more information about the event.

Please let us know if you have RSVPed so that we can keep in touch with you in the run-up to and after the event. You can let us know that you have RSVPed by sending an email to [email protected]

Ecology Ottawa would like to sincerely thank the City of Ottawa for beginning this process.

Mayor Jim Watson says this is our chance to “review the way forward for our Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan and GHG control in our city.” Our last plan was written almost ten years ago and has now expired.

Your participation at this important event will help ensure that “the way forward” means that we are rebooting our city’s climate change strategy with new actions and targets.

Municipalities are the level of government that is closest to its citizens. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities says that “up to half of Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are under the direct or indirect control or influence of municipal governments.”

Ottawa needs to join cities like Waterloo, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Guelph and Sudbury in putting forward a strategy to do its fair share to fight climate change and protect residents from the rising costs of global warming. Through its transportation planning, urban design and green building promotion program, among many other things, the City of Ottawa has a role to play in helping our communities transition away from our collective dependence on oil, coal and gas and build a less wasteful and more efficient city. By facing these challenges today, the City of Ottawa can help position our community to participate in the economic benefits of the growing green economy.

It’s a question of leadership.

It’s not just Canadian cities that are assuming significant roles in fighting climate change. Long before superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg had assumed the chairmanship of  the C40Cities.org Climate Leadership Group. Vancouver and Toronto are also members of the C40 Climate Leadership Group, having respectively set for themselves greenhouse gas reduction targets of 33% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. These cities have also backed-up those targets up with detailed climate change management plans.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities Partners for Climate Protection program has amassed a database of more than 700 specific greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures that have been undertaken by cities across Canada.

These examples prove that it is not a defensible argument to claim that setting policy on all facets of greenhouse gas emissions should just be left to the provinces and the federal government. It’s everybody’s responsibility! Climate change is a collective problem and all levels of government have a role to play in promoting solutions. Please register to attend the GHG Roundtable by emailing [email protected] so you can join the discussion on how we can all work together to develop and implement a climate change strategy for the City of Ottawa.  Let us know that you have registered by emailing us at [email protected]

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