Corp Comm Connects

York Region wants your input on climate change action
March 7, 2022

York Region is asking for public feedback on its future fight against climate change.

The region released its draft climate action plan for public scrutiny, with a survey available until March 11. The plan outlines short, medium and long-term objectives for actions the region will take to address climate change within the next five years.

“The draft action plan provides a framework for all levels of government, businesses and communities to work together to fight climate change,” the region said. “Working together, York Region’s communities will continue to thrive under changing climate conditions.”

The plan discusses the local impacts of climate change, such as damage from more frequent extreme weather and strained transportation networks. It lays out 26 action items, including establishing community-wide emissions reduction targets, integrating climate change considerations into municipal planning and developing performance indicators to track actions on climate change.

But Walter Bauer of environmentalist group Drawdown Newmarket-Aurora said he would give the plan as it stands a failing grade. He said it lacks specifics in baseline comparisons or targets as opposed to other municipal plans like those in Newmarket or Aurora.

“It’s missing all the important elements,” he said. “All it’s got is touchy-feely wording.”

The actions within the plan note York Region’s role and potential partners to make actions happen. The timelines are said to be short, medium or long, meaning one to two years, two to three, or four to five.

A council statement with the plan said it recognizes the importance of addressing the issue.

“Through the endorsement of Vision 2051, the Sustainability Strategy and the Corporate Clean Air Plan, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, piloting electric buses, and integrating climate change considerations into infrastructure design and asset management,” the council said.