While it may seem like a green oasis, Haliburton County and the rest of Canada has played an outsized role in greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to a warming world and increasing severe weather events.
“We are a small community and our overall impact on climate change in the global context might seem small,” said climate change coordinator Korey McKay. “But historically Canada is a very high emitting country, per capita. So, per person, we have a pretty high greenhouse gas impact and footprint.” Now Haliburton County is calling for residents’ input as it assembles a draft Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) to reduce local emissions.
A survey on the County’s Wade In website, open until Nov. 30, is aimed at determining where the County should focus its greenhouse gas mitigation efforts. “Residents can create their own ideal plan that’s focused both on reducing greenhouse gas emissions locally, as well as building resilience to more extreme and variable weather,” McKay said.
The multi-part survey focuses on how everyday life in the Highlands could be made more environmentally friendly. For example, the plan could include recommendations to limit car emissions through ride-share or public transportation, incentives for cleanenergy heating solutions or increasing the County’s alternative energy capability. “By completing the survey, it really does help to form that final plan that will go forward to County council and the local councils as well.”
McKay said she and other County staff have attempted to get a range of perspectives from around the County through meetings with a CCAP committee and other stakeholders. In the spring, more than 400 people completed a survey focusing on the plan’s goals and emission reduction targets.
“These community engagements are really designed so that we can hopefully hear from a wide variety of the community as well,” McKay said.
The survey is designed for anyone to complete, with no prior knowledge of climate change needed. McKay included multiple bite-sized explanations of each idea, such as how new forms of energy, building practices and more would work and the science behind them. “Hopefully, by reading through the engagement, that can also inform [residents] what climate action could look like locally and how climate change is impacting us,” McKay said.
Anyone who completes the survey by Nov. 30 is entered to win a FoodCycler composting machine.
Visit wadein.haliburtoncounty.ca/ climate-change to complete the survey