We know that climate change is here and it’s affecting Mississauga.
The City of Mississauga is committed to decreasing our carbon footprint and preparing the community for the effects of a changing climate. The recently released draft Climate Change Action Plan is our ambitious, yet practical, plan to do that.
The weather around the world is changing and we are seeing changing climates, rising temperatures, increased precipitation and more frequent weather events.
In 2017 and 2019, we have had record high water levels in Lake Ontario. We are certainly feeling these impacts locally including increased seasonal flooding, extreme rainfall, ice storms, and some of the hottest summers on record.
More than half of the world’s carbon emissions originate in cities and urban areas and cities are facing the increasing costs of adapting to the impacts of climate change.
As a City, Mississauga is committed to doing its part towards securing a better future and transforming into a low carbon and resilient carbon city. Taking steps towards this goal will be achieved through actions taken not only by the City, but also by the wider community including residents, business owners, and visitors.
I know some of you may think that no matter what the City does, it won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of the global climate change picture. But we as a Council know that we have an obligation to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations and services. We have an opportunity to improve local air quality and become more resilient when extreme weather hits. (As I write this, there is a massive snow storm hitting the Prairies dumping 60+ cm of snow at the end of September.)
Our Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) presents a way forward over the next ten years, providing an incremental process to take action, measure progress, adjust to changing conditions, and continue to build towards the ultimate 30-year vision.
In the coming weeks, the City will be seeking public feedback and finalize the CCAP for approval.
What are some of the Actions we are proposing? Here are just a few of the planned options for change:
· Convert the entire corporate and transit fleet (and equipment) to zero emissions (e.g.
electric and/or hydrogen technology);
· Invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure for the corporate and transit fleets;
· Install renewable energy (e.g. solar panels) at municipal buildings;
· Retrofit all municipal buildings to be net zero or near net zero; and
· Ensure that all new corporate buildings are built to net zero or near net zero standards.
As with any major initiative, there is a substantial cost to implementing the Climate Change Action Plan. Initial estimates for the first 10 years of the plan, based on current technology, is more than $450 million. This is mainly for capital funding and is not currently contained in our ten year capital forecast which means in the coming years, we have very tough choices to make.
There is a cost to making these changes, and there are also costs in taking no action.
Now is the time to have your say and provide input into the City’s Climate Change Action Plan.
You have until Friday, October 18, 2019 to provide us with your feedback. You can do that by:
1. Attending one of the open houses:
2. Can’t attend? Complete a
, which also includes a section for additional