It was about one year ago that Guelph City Council approved a slate of motions to accelerate the City’s shift to net zero and 100 per cent renewable. The meeting was especially notable for the number of young people who came out to delegate about their panic around the climate’s future, and their concern that governments are not moving fast enough to act. So where do we sit on this Race to Zero?
The biggest takeaway from a report in June about the Race to Zero initiative was that corporate greenhouse emissions have been reduced from the 2018 baseline, but those corporate emissions only account for three per cent of Guelph’s total emissions. In other words, the City can lead, but it will be up to the people in Guelph to do their part too. But how do we do that?
Per the Environmental and Sustainability report, over 26 per cent of CO2 emissions in Guelph come from transportation. Making a dent in that load will require people driving less and take some of cars off the road, and that’s where the City comes in because they could make it easier to take transit with more routes and more frequency while Guelph Transit converts their vehicles to EV. That’s one-quarter of Guelph’s carbon footprint, but what about the rest?
To answer that question, and others, we’re joined by Byan Ho-Yan, the manager of Energy and Climate Change at the City of Guelph. He will talk to us about the limits of what the City can do to affect our climate change goals, and the ways that they can rally the community to take care of the other 97 per cent. He will also talk about the progress made so far, what’s coming up in 2023, and the one thing he wishes everyone knew about the City of Guelph’s fight against climate change.
So let’s talking about fighting climate change at the city level on this week’s Guelph Politicast!
You can learn more about the City of Guelph’s energy and climate change plans as well as the 2021 Environmental and Sustainability Report here. It seems appropriate here to remind everyone that Guelph’s ban on select single-use plastics including shopping bags, ring containers, and polystyrene foam containers and cups will be starting on January 1.
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