Climate activists want county to make Peterborough a resilient community

·2 min read

A group of climate activists will ask Peterborough County council on Wednesday to help make the Peterborough area the most resilient community in Canada by 2030 by aggressively reducing fossil fuel greenhouse gas emissions.

The group — Peterborough Climate Emergency Activist Group — includes the Peterborough Alliance for Climate Action, Council of Canadians, Transition Town Peterborough, joined by some local residents, businesses and farmers.

It is recommending the creation of a community resilience operating fund to give citizens and non-profit organizations the power to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while increasing community resilience, “leaving no one behind,” states a report that will be presented to county council.

Community resilience is the sustained ability of a community to use available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations.

The group would like to see funding from the city and county of 1.2 per cent in their 2022 operating budgets, rising by 0.1 per cent yearly until reaching 2 per cent by 2030.

A major focus of the group is “the security of life essentials,” such as food, water, energy, culture and wellness, which it sees as important for the local economy and sustainable jobs.

Examples of community projects that could happen with funding are the reduction of residential and light commercial energy use, increasing the ability of the community to feed itself with 50 per cent local food production by the mid-2030s and forming a public task force to recommend to the city ways to use the proceeds of the recent sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc. to Hydro One, the report states.

Peterborough has high levels of food insecurity, the report states.

The group suggests support for the city and county working together “as one” to build local resilience is a necessary part of any framework to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The climate activist group is asking that its funding proposal be referred to the county climate action committee. The group plans to return to county council in January to present a Part 2: Background and Model for Action report.

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at bburke@metroland.com.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner

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