Mono reasserts its commitment against climate change

April 4, 2024   ·   0 Comments


Mono reasserted its dedication to its Community Action Plan toward addressing its contributions to climate change.

Councillor Ralph Manktelow made a motion during council’s March 26 meeting to declare a climate change emergency in the municipality.

Manktelow asked that council direct town staff to ensure that climate considerations are central to all future staff reports and operations and that the municipality continue to support climate initiatives and solutions to the climate crisis which are equitable for all residents.

Many people struggle to understand that there is an environmental emergency and council has difficulty reconciling Canada’s “modest mitigation actions” with the current climate crisis.

But it’s a scientific fact that the Earth is warming and the lives of people throughout the world are being impacted by more extreme weather events, thawing glaciers, rising sea levels, increased temperatures, and drought.

Manktelow’s motion indicates that one of Mono’s overriding goals is to protect its environment and rural character.

The municipality joined the Partners for Climate Protection program in 2017. That’s a five-step milestone framework to support the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG).

As part of that, the town implemented the Mono Community Climate Action Plan, completing Milestone Three of the framework. Mono established GHG emission reduction targets and hopes to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

“It’s easy to feel untouched by the environmental crisis and that climate change was somebody else’s problem,” Manktelow stated in his motion. “We have now experienced climate impacts in our community including flooding, heat waves, and rural road damage as a result of repeated winter freeze/thaw cycles.”

Manktelow in his motion said there are significant economic benefits and opportunities for communities that transition from fossil fuel-based economies.

“The declaration of a climate emergency signals our pledge to significant climate action to reduce greenhouse gases,” he said. “Through this declaration we freely recognize and take ownership of the climate change crisis.”

Coun. Elaine Capes said council has expressed its support in the past for adopting “a climate lens” through which municipal decisions are viewed.

A climate lens assesses climate change risks associated with any municipal project. It is to encourage better choices among project planners and decision-makers.

“I just want to make sure this (motion) isn’t imposing an onerous benchmark or restriction or hardship on staff,” she said.

Michael Dunmore, the town’s CAO, said a climate lens was not identified during the process of determining the 2024 municipal operating and capital budget.

“It was identified as a future project inside of the Corporate Action Plan, which staff asked for $1,000 reserve contribution that council decided not to apply,” Dunmore said.

Quite simply, devising a climate lens isn’t part of the town staff’s work plan for this year.

“Unless council decides differently,” Dunmore said.

“It’s fair to say you assess decisions and proposals made to council with the climate issue in mind,” Mayor John Creelman said. “In other words you’re already putting it through a lens. Maybe not as formal.”

Dunmore agreed.

Coun. Melinda Davie said she doesn’t understand the need for council to declare a climate emergency.

“It sounds alarmist to say emergency,” she said and added that there’s a lack of clarity of what is going to be done by such a declaration.

Manktelow said his motion constitutes a reassertion of what council is already doing.

“It’s bringing it up to the forefront,” he said.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.