Tiny Township joins climate protection program, commits to climate change action plan
Tiny Township and Sustainable Severn Sound -Midland Mirror photo
by Andrew Mendler Midland Mirror
Tiny Township is continuing to be at the forefront of sustainability and climate change initiatives. The municipality is the first in the region to officially join the Partners for Climate Protection Program and actively engage in creating a climate change action plan.
“By joining the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Partners for Climate Protection program, the Township is further committing to our ‘environment first philosophy’ and is doing so in a collaborative and cost-effective manner as a member of the regional sustainability committee,” said Township CAO Doug Luker.
Tiny joins over 300 Canadian municipalities, approximately 70 of which are in Ontario, in participating in the program and will receive the benefit of structured framework for developing a greenhouse gas reduction plan.
Sustainable Severn Sound is leading the charge in creating climate change action plans for the seven area municipalities – Midland, Penetanguishene, Oro-Medonte, Tiny, Tay, Severn and Georgian Bay Township – and will be doing the majority of the work.
“By having staff from Sustainable Severn Sound represent the Township in the PCP program, Tiny will be able to access resources, tools, and funding to help realize real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and help contribute to the goal of SSS’s local climate change action plan,” added Luker.
Tiny has already implemented a number of actions that already contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gases. In 2015, they upgraded 390 street lights to LED lighting, reducing their energy consumption by an estimated 70 per cent. The Township was also an early participant in the Blue Communities Project, which phased out the sale of bottled water in municipal facilities.
The PCP program framework consists of five milestones including: developing a community-wide greenhouse gas inventory, setting a greenhouse gas reduction target, developing an action plan, implementing that plan and reporting on its progress.
Victoria Ervick, Climate Change Action Plan co-ordinator with Sustainable Severn Sound, is in the midst of compiling data from each of the seven municipalities to establish a regional greenhouse gas inventory.
“We are compiling data from municipal vehicle fleets, seeing how much gas and diesel they used and calculating the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions,” said Ervick. “We are also collecting energy consumption, waste and water consumption data from municipal buildings, libraries and community centers and energy consumption data from street lights.”
Ervick is also collecting residential energy consumption data from Hydro One, Enbridge and Union Gas.
All of this data will be analyzed, municipalities will be given targets to reach and plans will be developed to help them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
“While the data is key to the project, the most important thing moving forward is identifying actions municipalities and the community can take to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and then putting supports and programs in place to do that,” said Tracy Roxborough, SSS sustainability co-ordinator.
The Town of Penetanguishene has also recently committed to joining the PCP program. The five other municipalities in the area are expected to follow suit in the very near future.