community news

Residents of the Town of New Glasgow have an opportunity to help form a climate action plan.

The town is developing a community-driven plan that will outline actions to reduce greenhouse gasses and promote community resilience in the face of a changing climate.

“The main action areas of the Local Climate Action Plan will be centered around our homes, workplaces, transportation, and waste reduction,” said Rachel Mitchell, the town’s climate change and sustainability manager. “While a main focus of this plan is to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions, the actions will help to improve home comfort, save our residents money, and improve the health and well-being of our community.”

The town has launched an online climate action engagement platform as a way to gather feedback from residents on priorities for community climate action. Participants can also share what they think the town’s reduction targets should be for both 2030 and 2050.

Mitchell uses the town’s newly-launched clean energy financing program as an example offering homeowners in the town an opportunity for low interest financing to complete energy efficiency upgrades to their homes. Through the program, homeowners pay off the investment monthly to the town.

“While we often hear about provincial and federal climate targets and action plans, Canadian towns and cities have an important role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change,” said Mitchell, who notes the Federation of Canadian Municipalities estimates municipalities have control or influence over 50 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“That’s because towns and cities are where we work, live, and play,” she said. “These are the areas where we consume energy to heat and cool our homes, use our vehicles to travel to stores and work, and consume and dispose of waste. Our communities are also where we are experiencing the impacts of climate change, such as more frequent and intense storms like Hurricane Dorian, heavy rainfall events, flooding, or more extreme heat.”

She says the town’s plan will outline actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy usage, promote the circular economy, and improve active and public transit.

The online engagement platform will be open until Sept. 6. There are a number of prizes available to New Glasgow residents including three prizes for $50 off the homeowner’s water bill, YMCA day passes, New Glasgow Farmers’ Market dollars and more.

To participate, visit greennewglasgow.com or email climate.action@newglasgow.ca for more information.