Haliburton County council passed a corporate climate change mitigation plan for the county and its lower-tier municipalities during a Sept. 23 meeting. /CHAD INGRAM Staff

First phase of climate change plan focuses on municipal emissions

By Chad Ingram

Haliburton County councillors approved the corporate climate change mitigation plan for the county during its online Sept. 23 meeting.

The county hired climate change co-ordinator Korey McKay last fall, and she has been working on the plan since then. That process began by taking an inventory of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the county and its lower-tier municipalities. The first phase of the project is the creation of a corporate climate change mitigation plan for the county and each of the four lower tiers, corporate greenhouse gas emissions being those that are produced by the municipal governments themselves.

The goal is to reduce corporately produced greenhouse gas emissions across the county by 30 per cent from 2018 levels by 2030, and the plan suggests a number of actions that can be taken to reduce emissions in buildings and vehicle fleets, and at the lower-tier level, landfills, which are the biggest source of corporately produced greenhouse gas for the county’s four municipalities.

The plan includes chapters for each of the lower tiers, with each local council setting its own emission reduction targets for its facilities and operations.

“So each local council had the opportunity to provide any comments, which are included in my report, and will be considered during implementation and ultimately each council passed a resolution supporting the approval of the plan,” McKay said.

The first step toward implementation will be the striking of a working group that is to include municipal staffers from throughout the county, ones with knowledge of the affected areas, such as waste disposal and vehicle fleets.

As county planner Charlsey White told councillors, “The working group would bring forward any recommendation’s implementation, so those items included in your specific chapters of the plan, forward to their respective council.”

“The working group . . . is also an opportunity for collaboration across the five municipalities, so if there was a program moving forward, maybe there’s a way that all five would do it together, maybe there would be some benefit with regard to costs or RFP [request for proposals] process,” White said. “So, we see that as a benefit to all municipalities in implementing their climate change program.”

In the future, McKay will also be creating a community climate change mitigation plan that will focus on the public and the community at large, and the working group for that plan will include members of the public.