OTTAWA, Dec. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) today released a new report showing the federal government can jump-start its national climate change strategy by partnering with municipalities on cost-effective, community-based projects.
Entitled Act Locally - The Municipal Role in Fighting Climate Change, the report chronicles what Canada's municipalities are doing to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions - and how much more they could do as full partners in a national climate change strategy.
"Whatever comes out of Copenhagen, Canadians will want to see their governments taking concrete action on climate change here at home," said FCM 2nd Vice-President Berry Vrbanovic, municipal councillor in Kitchener, Ont. "And that's what municipalities are doing by improving public transit, shifting to more fuel-efficient fleets, retrofitting public buildings, and turning landfill gas into energy."
Municipal governments have direct or indirect influence over activities accounting for 44 per cent of GHG emissions in Canada, including waste management, transportation, and commercial and residential building design. According to the report, there is "large, untapped potential" to achieve low-cost GHG reductions in these areas. Two-thirds of these reductions can be achieved for less than $25 per tonne - less than the average cost of regulating industry or developing renewable energy, and a fraction of the price of carbon capture and storage.
The report outlines additional benefits that result from investments in ready-to-go, community-based GHG emission reduction initiatives:
- Reduced GHG emissions can lead to improved air quality and fewer
- GHG emission reduction initiatives can create local jobs, improve
quality of life and community economic development and
- Energy efficiency measures can lead to lower overall municipal
"These projects are cost-effective," said Vrbanovic. "They open the door for the federal government to take meaningful action on climate change while still working its way back to balanced budgets."
But municipal tax payers cannot afford to underwrite a national climate change strategy all on their own.
"What we need now - more urgently than new money - is a new mindset," said Vrbanovic. "The federal government must commit to working with provinces, territories and municipalities to put all options for fighting climate change on the table, and invest in the ones that deliver the best value for Canadians. Based on today's report, we're confident that cost-effective, community-based projects offer the very best opportunities for taking action on climate change."
To read the report, visit www.fcm.ca.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been the national voice of municipal government since 1901. With 1,796 members, FCM represents the interests of municipalities on policy and program matters that fall within federal jurisdiction. Members include Canada's largest cities, small urban and rural communities, and 18 provincial and territorial municipal associations.
SOURCE Federation of Canadian Municipalities
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