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Sault sets stage for greenhouse gas emissions inventory, reduction targets

Reduction targets may be incorporated into new official plan
Greenhouse gas
stack photo

City Council will decide Monday whether to start a process leading to a community-wide greenhouse gas emissions inventory and possible reduction targets.

On the advice of Emily Cormier, the Sault's new climate change coordinator, councillors will be asked to sign up Sault Ste. Marie to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)'s Partners for Climate Protection program.

Joining the program will provide city officials with computer software for creating a local emissions inventory.

"The community greenhouse gases emissions inventory is a critical step in terms of understanding what the current emissions levels are for Sault Ste. Marie," Cormier says.

"Once the existing emission levels are detailed, we can then assess and determine what reduction targets we may want to establish. The measures to achieve these reduction targets can then be used to inform key policy and planning documents such as the new official plan and other municipal policies and procedures," she says in a report to Mayor Provenzano and ward councillors.

"There are over 350 participating municipalities across Canada, several of which are in Northern Ontario including the City of Thunder Bay, City of Greater Sudbury and the City of Timmins."

Cormier says the program has five milestones:

  • creating a baseline emissions inventory and forecast
  • setting emissions reduction targets
  • developing a local action plan
  • implementing the local action plan
  • monitoring progress and reporting results

Sault Ste. Marie is already a member of the Northern Climate Change Network (NCCN), a working group that also includes Thunder Bay, Timmins, North Bay and Greater Sudbury.

NCCN was set up to assess and manage the impacts of climate change on communities, infrastructure, and natural systems.

There's no charge to join the new FCM program

"The program is not legally binding, meaning that there will be no consequences if the City does not meet the commitments they agree to," Cormier says.

"The city has the option to cancel their membership at anytime."

Monday's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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