Sault Residents Showing Support with Climate Change March on Sunday

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This week’s government of Ontario’s release of Ontario’s Climate Change Strategy is another positive step in securing a prosperous, low-carbon society where greenhouse gas reduction is part of our growth, efficiency and productivity, announced David Orazietti, MPP.

“Climate change is not a distant threat, it is already costing the people of Ontario, particularly in the North,” said Orazietti. “We need to act now because climate change will increase the cost of food, insurance, put plants and animals at risk, and deprive our children and grandchildren of the safe environment and nature that we’ve enjoyed.”

Ontario’s Climate Change Strategy outlines the steps the government will take, including:

·         Introducing climate legislation that, if passed, would establish a long-term framework for action and make the cap and trade program law in Ontario

·         Integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation considerations into government decision-making and infrastructure planning

·         Introducing changes to government operations, procurement, employee training, building retrofits and in other areas to help government move towards carbon neutrality.

·         Developing a coordinated approach to reduce emissions from new and existing buildings

·         Reducing emissions from transportation by promoting the uptake of zero emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles

The strategy also supports Ontario’s proposed cap and trade program, which will help Ontario meet its emissions reduction targets, reward innovative companies and ensure that households and businesses thrive as the province transitions to a low-carbon economy.

Secondary and post-secondary students will be participating in the Sault Ste. Marie Climate March on Sunday, November 29 at 1 p.m., commencing at the Civic Centre. This event will coincide with other marches being held around the world and marking the start of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) which will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11.

“From the outpouring of support we have received while organizing this march, it is evident that the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie are concerned about climate change,” said Kevin Magill, a White Pines teacher who co-organized the Sault Ste. Marie Climate March with his colleague Greg MacLauchlan. “Our goal is to send a message to our Prime Minister (and world leaders) gathering in Paris for the COP21 Conferences that the time for real, equitable action on climate change is now.”

The government of Ontario will also release a detailed five-year action plan in 2016, which will include specific commitments to meet near-term 2020 emissions reduction targets, and establish the framework necessary to meet targets for 2030 and 2050. The government will report on, and renew, its action plan every five years.