City of Waterloo introduces motion to declare climate emergency
Jeff Pickel, CTV Kitchener
Published Tuesday, November 5, 2019 8:24AM EST
The City of Waterloo is taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint.
Council introduced a motion to declare a climate emergency at its meeting on Monday night.
A concrete plan to lower emissions would come forward if councilors vote in favour of the declaration on Nov. 18.
“I didn’t want this to be an empty declaration,” said Waterloo city councillor Tenille Bonogoure. “I want there to be some action attached.
“We haven’t formalized an internal target for ourselves and we haven’t developed a framework that can help make sure each department and the city as a whole can meet the objective.”
The objective is to meet those set in the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent in the year 2050.
The Sustainability Advisory Committee presented at the meeting and said how they believe they have a plan that can work.
“The development of a climate action plan will be critical,” said chair of the committee Mat Thisjssen. “That’s an all-encompassing term that will lead to action from the city.”
Council will have a chance to debate the issue on Nov. 18 before they vote.
“Declaring the climate emergency does not cost anything,” said Bonogoure. “Meeting the goal does.
“If we don’t deal with it now the prices will get higher.”
Waterloo will join Kitchener, Wilmot, and Woolwich if they vote in favour of the declaration.
“Declaring a climate emergency is like seeing a car crash in front of you,” said Bonogoure. “It’s better to hit the brakes now rather than plow into the car.”
A delegation at a Cambridge city council meeting Tuesday night is expected to ask the city to also declare a climate crisis.