REPORTS – OVERVIEW OF CORPORATE AND COMMUNITY SUSTAINABLE ENERGY INITIATIVES SINCE 2006 AND 2007 ENERGY USE INVENTORY FOR LONDON & STATUS OF ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION DEALING WITH THE AIR QUALITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT OF VEHICLE IDLING

The reports the city provided on their initiatives are attached (15 item-151– OVERVIEW OF CORPORATE AND COMMUNITY SUSTAINABLE ENERGY INITIATIVES SINCE 2006 AND 2007 ENERGY USE INVENTORY FOR LONDON) & (23 item-231 – STATUS OF ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION DEALING WITH THE AIR QUALITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT OF VEHICLE IDLING).

We need public on side with a meaningful CO2 Strategy.  In the LFP article today: http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Local/2008/07/18/6193741-sun.html it states: “The council [Council of Canadians] says London must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by about five per cent a year until it reaches a targetted 90 per cent decrease. Instead, London’s strategy will more likely be modelled in a “continuous improvement” framework that measures progress each year, Stanford said.”

This ”continuous improvement’ model unfortunately does not work.  We’ve seen this over & over again.  Example: in 1997 London passed its idling bylaw.  The issue of idling & the need to control it has been a main issue raised by the Advisory Committee on the Environment to the City of London year after year.   It has been 11 years since this bylaw came into effect – & yet – our smog days have quadrupled over the past 15 years.  With London second only to Toronto.  This model of continuous improvement is failing us.  We no longer have time on our side to allow us to continue operating in this manner.

__STATEMENT:______________________________________

Council of Canadians – London Chapter is respectfully not of the opinion that at this point in time the city of London qualifies to be seen as a leader in sustainable energy in comparison to many other progressive municipalities. It is our opinion that the bar must be set rather high to qualify for this designation.

However, we believe that since the debate on drive-thrus began, city staff and many elected officials have recognized the urgency of the crisis we now face in regards to pollution and climate change and the goal of building healthy communities that form the basis of what we would qualify as a sustainable city.  We look forward to working with city staff and other stakeholders on the development and implementation of a climate change CO2 strategy.

It is crucial that citizens of London support progressive staff & councillors in recommendations of green initiatives that will lead us down a path of sustainability if we are to have any kind of future for our children. We must model sustainable choices to our children.  We must work together as a community. To reduce our emissions by 90% by 2030 is the greatest challenge we have ever faced. Citizen participation is key and each and every one of us has an important role to play.

The goal of such a strategy is to reduce our emissions by 4-5% each year until we reach the target of 90% minimum reduction.  The number which is needed to divert the worst effects of climate change catastrophe.  The reduction targets must be met even as population, industry, commercial and institutions expand.

We at Council of Canadians feel that all those in a leadership role must be mindful of the fact that there is a serious detriment to leading people in the community to believe that the serious environmental consequences of our collective actions or inactions are under control when in reality we continue to slide closer to the critical tipping points.  We need to truthfully acknowledge what we are not achieving, as well as celebrate the meaningful achievements.  And we need to do this quickly, as there is not one moment to waste.  The city of London must become a place where it’s demonstrated leadership in sustainability initiatives inspire our vibrant communities and fellow citizens to do the same. Our goal is to foster this sort of thinking and do everything we can to truly transform London into a destination point for those seeking to reside in this sort of an environment.

This is the goal of our C02 climate change strategy. A large-scale transition to a post-carbon economy and society. The battle against climate change will be won or lost in cities. By 2030, two-thirds of humanity will live in cities or urban areas. Half already do. Even now, cities consume 75 per cent of the world’s energy and are responsible for 80 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions. It is at city level that innovation and progress on climate change action is most likely to be achieved.

I attach the Hanson report which I highly recommend to understand the urgency of climate change.

hansen-2008-twentyyearslater_20080623

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