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climate change handsCongratulations to Owen Sound City Council for listening to concerned citizens and taking significant first steps towards action on our local and global Climate Emergency. On Monday Council approved the hire of a full time staff to assist the city with the development and implementation of plans to reduce green house gas emissions and address climate change impacts. I attended the meeting and appreciate the undivided commitment council expressed. On January 14, 2020 the Operations Committee met with local citizens to discuss the formation of a Climate Action Task Force, an essential step toward building broad community and community city action.

Over a thousand jurisdictions around the globe have declared a climate emergency. Owen Sound has not yet declared a Climate Emergency but with these early initiatives the city acknowledges that we are facing a reality which demands bold action on all levels: individually and politically. This is not a ‘business as usual’ situation. The City cannot solve or mitigate the impact of climate change alone. It has made an important step by responding and reaching out to the community.

We need a supported and collective plan to respond to climate change. Everyone in our community needs to get involved and engaged in change. Council has a critical role in engaging citizens and working with the community to build practical and effective climate change plans in Owen Sound. Fortunately there is a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and commitment in our community and on Council. The climate change crisis is a unique opportunity for broad community engagement, increased collaboration, meaningful consultation, education, and open and effective dialogue across many sectors. I hope Council and the Operation’s Committee will work with the community as we all step up to the challenges ahead.

Joachim Ostertag
Owen Sound

 

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