Grey County has a new Climate Change Action Plan. In addition to adopting the plan titled Going Green in Grey, Grey Council also declared a climate emergency, drawing attention to the urgency of the climate crisis which poses significant threats globally and locally.
“Climate change reaches into every corner of our community,” said Grey County Warden Selwyn ‘Buck’ Hicks. “In Grey County, we can already see the effects of climate change through increased frequency of extreme weather events and changes to climate patterns. We need to act now, and we need to work together to create a more sustainable, prosperous, and healthier future in Grey County.”
Going Green in Grey highlights activities that contribute to climate change and outlines realistic and actionable steps the County and residents can take to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and its harmful effects.
The plan has the goal of reducing community greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 and working towards net-zero emissions by 2050. Additionally, Grey County as a corporation is aiming for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from county operations by 2030, and net-zero emissions by 2045.
Acting on climate change will create many benefits. It will lead to cleaner air and water, improved food security and housing quality, and better mental health and physical wellness for our residents. Economically, climate action and the need for clean energy production will support energy innovation and create jobs.
“At the municipal, business, and community levels, early actions are already showing positive results,” said Linda Swanston, manager of climate change initiatives with Grey County. “Grey County has four foundational pillars in place that can collectively help us achieve 40% of our emission reduction goals.”
The foundational pillars that are key to successfully reducing our carbon footprint are:
- Forest, habitat, and biodiversity protection and expansion
- Capacity building for sustainable agriculture
- Expanding waste and organics diversion
- Compact mixed-use development.
Five critical next steps have been prioritized in the plan. These are accelerating zero emission vehicle adoption, developing a residential building energy efficiency retrofit program, creating a climate adaptation plan, using green standards for new buildings, and developing a climate action engagement program.
Combined, the four pillars and five priority actions will help us meet 79% of Grey County’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.
“A tremendous amount of work is ahead of us at the County and community level, but I know we all recognize the importance of these changes,” said Warden Hicks. “I challenge residents and businesses to take action. Collectively we can make a difference.”
On Earth Day, April 22, Grey County launched an awareness campaign in support of the new Climate Change Action Plan. You can learn more at www.grey.ca/ClimateAction. The page will be a hub of information, including Going Green in Grey, a guide to the action plan and the full plan. The website will grow along with the strategy, with new content and information to be added regularly.
Interested residents and businesses can also sign up for climate change newsletters on the website, or contact staff to ask questions or arrange a presentation to a group or club.
For more information visit www.Grey.ca/ClimateAction.