ENVIRO: Towns Taking Action Against Climate Change

Thanks to funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), six communities across the province are making plans to address and ultimately reduce their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

After this training was completed, the newly-appointed Climate Change Ambassadors— consisting of Town Managers, Chief Administrative Officers, and employees from Public Works departments—attended a three-day workshop in Bauline.

The first day of the workshop focused on completing emissions inventories for each community. This included looking at municipal fleet information and fuel bills.

The workshop then moved on to brainstorming possible ways communities could reduce GHG emissions by 2050, and the town representatives were not short on ideas.

The Town Clerk for Port Aux Basques, Julia Ingram, says her town hopes to cut their GHG emissions in half by 2050 by reducing the use of fossil fuels in their municipal buildings.

Environment (DM)“We will be looking at installing a combination of solar panels, wind turbines and infrared heaters to eliminate the majority of fossil fuels,” says Ingram. “We are also looking at installing heat pumps in various buildings that have oil as the primary source of heat.”

Amanda Humby, Chief Administrative Officer of Baie Verte, says her community has similar plans.

“We have a community retrofit project with a GHG reduction lens. We have an old school that we want to turn into a regional community centre. We plan on switching out the windows, the lights, and so on.”

There are also plans for Baie Verte to work with a researcher from Memorial to help with their flooding problems.

“We have issues with our wastewater and our storm water,” says Humby. “We don’t have a drainage system so we frequently have problems with flooding. Dr. Joseph Daraio is hoping to pilot a project using our natural assets to channel storm water through natural drainage.”

Funding has been made available to the communities as they begin their projects. The towns can use the money directly to implement their projects, or they can leverage it to get further funding.

“In general, the whole process is very thought-provoking,” says Humby. “We’re really looking forward to seeing what comes from it and I would encourage any municipality to do something similar.”

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