When I introduced myself to Councillor Hobbs and explained that I had begun a project with the aim of increasing the priority of climate change at City Hall, her light-hearted response included the comment that I should tell our federal government about that.
It’s natural that when people think of who should be responsible for doing something about climate change the federal government comes to mind. But at the same time, we as individuals are being asked to take responsibility.
Of course municipal governments have a role to play – and a responsibility too. It is the City that issues building permits and roughly 2/3 of Ottawa’s greenhouse gasses come from heating and lighting our buildings. It is the City that manages streets and traffic and most of the remaining 1/3 of Ottawa’s greenhouse gasses come out of the tailpipes of vehicles on city streets.
That’s why the following initiatives exist, they are specific to cities and focused exclusively on climate change:
- The Federation of Canadian Municipalities – Partners for Climate Protection
- The World Mayor’s Council on Climate Change
- C40 Cities Climate Change Leadership Group
- The City Climate Catelogue