Snell emphasizes importance of input from farmers for greenhouse gas reduction plan

·2 min read

NORTH PERTH – When updating council on the progress of development of the Community Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan on Dec. 14, CAO Kriss Snell emphasized the need to work with the local agricultural community.

In April 2019, North Perth partnered with West Perth, Perth East, Perth South, Perth County, the City of Stratford and Town of St. Marys to hire a climate change coordinator. This two-year contract position is partially funded through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Climate Change Staff Grant received by North Perth on behalf of the partnering municipalities. The grant has supported the hiring of a climate change coordinator to develop a Community Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan for the municipalities.

Climate Change Coordinator Rebecca Garlick has been working towards developing the Community Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan since the project start date in April 2019. Through this plan, the municipalities will set greenhouse gas reduction targets and support their communities in reducing local emissions. The plan will also be necessary when applying for future funding opportunities that will help improve the community, not only environmentally, but also socially and economically.

Over the last year, Garlick has worked to collect and compile data on North Perth greenhouse gas emissions, developed connections with local stakeholder groups to garner partnerships for future implementation and is now moving into the final steps of the climate change planning process.

Using Ethelo’s E-democracy platform, community members were able to participate in a democratic survey that allowed them to provide their input and to vote on actions they support to help reduce local climate change impacts.

The results of the survey will help set the priorities of the various possible actions that could be implemented over the next 10 years to reduce local emissions.

“We have had some feedback from some in the agricultural sector that the agriculture greenhouse (gas emissions) may be misrepresented in our area recognizing as a whole agriculture does not create a great percentage of our greenhouse gasses nationally,” said Snell. “But… agriculture is our biggest industry in Perth County and as a result, our percentage is much higher locally than it would be across the country. Certainly, Rebecca and the other municipal staff recognize agriculture has done several things to look at sustainability and a reduction of greenhouse gases and we continue to work with the agriculture community to look at ways we can further develop that… as we create our greenhouse reduction plan.”

Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner