The Grey Bruce Climate Action Network (GBCAN) began meeting in 2020 and is comprised of representatives from eight municipally-based citizen climate action groups (CATs) in Grey and Bruce Counties and Collingwood and a representative from the Grey County Planning Department. GBCAN was formed because its members are convinced that we are all confronted with an urgent need for climate action and that we all need to work together, citizens, municipal and county councils, towards Climate Change mitigationof greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to climate change impacts.

GBCAN has just completed its first Annual Report and we are pleased to share what we are doing with the broader community. The full report can be found here. A list of contacts is included at the back as an appendix to the document for those who are interested in joining/starting a climate action group.

The Network gives its members a stronger voice in urging regional climate action. We share resources, strategies, lessons learned and combine efforts where broader action is needed. Two examples of our broader accomplishments are a mapping project to illustrate the progress of Grey and Bruce counties and lower-tier municipalities toward climate action, and a letter to the Province urging restoration and preservation of the powers of the Conservation Authorities.

Activities at the local level include urging councils to develop a climate action plan and supporting that work where it has started; encouraging the development of waste diversion facilities for styrofoam and film recycling; and having input into draft Municipal Official Plans when they are being updated. The latter work is crucial to ensure that the revised versions include planning policies that will lead towards reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Four communities have set an example in our region: Grey County, where a draft Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) has been completed and a Manager of Climate Action Change Initiatives has been hired; and Northern Bruce Peninsula, where a CAP is being developed and a Climate Action Coordinator has been hired; the Township of Georgian Bluffs, encouraged by the Georgian Bluffs CAT, has formed a Committee of Council with citizen representation and hired a Climate Action Coordinator to draft a CAP; and the Owen Sound CAT has been working with council to apply a strong climate lens to their revised Official Plan and to work towards a CAP. These are a few examples of the successes achieved by persistent local activities of GBCAN member groups.

We are looking forward to another year of working with the Counties of Grey and Bruce and our home municipalities. We have developed communication tools to connect with the broader public; there are draft Climate Action Plans to review and others that are just in their infancy where we can make a greater contribution. This year there will be more draft Official Plans to review. These are crucial documents that can support stronger, more resilient communities as climate change intensifies. Our local councils and municipal staff are learning more about climate change and what can be done with the resources at their disposal. GBCAN members will be there to help, support and collaborate on all efforts for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

source: media release, GBCAN 




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