The Crane Institute for Sustainability (CRANE) releases policy statements on next steps in the Sault Ste. Marie climate plan: GHG emission reduction target priorities

Smoke Stacks

Last year, the city of Sault Ste. Marie completed a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory as the first step in the process of developing a GHG emission reduction plan. The next step in that process is to set GHG emission reduction targets. Several critical insights and clear priorities emerged from the results of the GHG inventory for setting those GHG emission reduction targets, and the subsequent development and implementation of a local climate action plan. These policy statements reflect those insights and priorities. The inventory revealed that the city must:

  1. achieve deep and rapid emission cuts;
  2. prioritize industry emission cuts;
  3. aggressively cut transport emissions; and
  4. avoid any natural gas or other fossil fuel infrastructure in its strategy.

These two policy statements by CRANE build on the GHG inventory and outline realistic GHG emission reduction targets in line with other jurisdictions, trends and expectations. Actions taken to achieve these targets is expected to result in a minimum 50% GHG emission reduction by 2030, and net negative emissions prior to 2050 for the city of Sault Ste. Marie. Through revenue-generating practices and existing technologies, CRANE calculates that these targets are the minimum ambition required if local decision-makers are to take the climate emergency seriously, and wish to align with global climate developments and other municipal actions. The World Health Organization has identified the climate crisis as “the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.“ The current pandemic illustrates the deep and aggressive actions local authorities can take when confronted by a significant threat to human health. As the greatest threat to human health, climate change requires even more aggressive actions. CRANE has prepared these policy statements to aid local decision-makers in their planning for “the greatest threat to human health.” These policy statements support the city’s objective to “reinforce the need for an integrated sustainability agenda that addresses long term economic, social and environmental priorities, as part of building a healthier and more climate change resilient community.”