Climate Change Responsibility in Ottawa - Recent Gains - Open Challenges

Climate Change Responsibility in Ottawa - Recent Gains - Open Challenges
Posted on April 26, 2013 | Charles Hodgson | Written on April 26, 2013
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

At the time of this inaugural open letter posted on UnpublishedOttawa the movement to urge city council to more assertively address the issue of climate change has recently seen a victory with the commitment of Mayor Watson to the climate change management process. Yet to date local greenhouse gas emissions have not gone down appreciably, nor have any strong initiatives been undertaken that might be expected to cause them to do so. For these reasons an ongoing challenge remains for Ottawans to themselves reduce emissions while pressuring their elected officials for structural changes that will encourage others to do the same in a meaningful way.

Individuals, groups and community associations that helped press city hall into holding the GHG Roundtable on March 23; and more, who strongly encouraged the mayor to himself commit to revisiting the climate change management planning process and setting reduction targets, are to be thanked and congratulated. This is a significant step forward.

The result is that the City of Ottawa will refresh the 2004 Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan which had expired. New reduction targets are also promised.

Unfortunately this new climate plan is now out of synch with Official Plan and Transportation Master Plan review schedules. They will be finalized over the summer and early fall whereas the climate plan is promised for summer 2014.

So pressing the city to take energy conservation and climate change planning into account during the review cycle of these earlier scheduled plans is important.

Beyond that, there is a difference between committing to a plan and actually bringing down greenhouse gas emissions. Let us all keep a weather eye out for signals that the city is actually undertaking new and meaningful initiatives. It is anticipated that more "encouragement" will be needed.

Of note is the fact that according to

municipalities are now required by law “to report their annual energy use and GHG emissions to the Ministry of Energy by July 1, 2013. In addition, public agencies will need to develop five-year energy conservation and demand management (CDM) plans by July 1, 2014”

Charles Hodgson

About The Author

CharlesHodgson's picture

Advocate for more action to address climate change. Work with Climate Reality Canada, Ecology Ottawa and others to try to move this mainstream issue into public consciousness and practical, effective action.


Let's hope the City will follow through this time. There is a huge economic upside to embracing the green economy. When the City realizes this, things will change.