There was great energy and discussion at the Town Hall consultation on climate change for residents of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke on Tuesday evening August 16 at the Royal Canadian Legion in Eganville. The event, hosted by three community-based organizations: Pipeline Awareness Renfrew County, Bonnechere River Watershed Project and Ottawa River Institute, raised awareness of climate change issues and provided an opportunity for residents to get involved in proposing actions that can be taken by governments, businesses and individuals to address climate change.
Many ideas were brought forward as the 46 participants (including about a half dozen local elected municipal officials) engaged in round-table discussions on the following topics:
- What are the solutions to reducing greenhouse gases that you would like to see governments, businesses, and communities implement?
- What are your ideas to support the economy and create good jobs while reducing emissions?
- What are some ideas to promote innovation and new technologies in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
- What can Canada do to better adapt to impacts of climate change on the environment and support affected communities, including Indigenous communities?
- Putting a Price on Carbon.
Some of the proposed solutions included:
- Addressing the unique needs of rural Canadians;
- Providing incentives for clean technologies and removing subsidies for dirty technologies;
- Keeping some fossil fuels in the ground and stop building long lived fossil fuel infrastructure;
- Promoting local solutions (e.g., local food and energy production) with local control;
- Promoting the use of wood for energy and materials; and
- Retaining/enhancing natural cover as carbon sinks.
Local climate activist Duncan Noble said that “we need to react to climate change with the same urgency as we did to WWII” and that the organizers were “very pleased with the turn out and the energy and enthusiasm of participants for climate change solutions”. According to Noble, it will take “many more conversations like the ones we had tonight to build and maintain the political will necessary to respond to climate change effectively”. Bonnechere Valley councillor Meredith Jamieson chaired the meeting and remarked that she was “inspired to see so many people engaged in making a difference”.
All of the proposed ideas are being compiled by the host organizations into a detailed report that will be submitted to the federal government as a contribution from RNP to inform Canada’s strategy on climate change. It will also be publically available on-line at http://letstalkclimateaction.ca/ideas. Residents can also submit ideas on how to address climate change by visiting this interactive website.
Thanks to all of those who organized and participated in this event for RNP. Together, we can make a real difference.
More photos from the event can be seen here, courtesy of Heather Park-Wheeler.
Local media covered the event here.