Paradise adopts climate action plan

By Chris Lewis | Aug. 13, 2020

A final version of the Town of Paradise’s climate action plan has been approved by council.

The vote at last week’s council meeting puts to bed several months of discussions and rough drafts and sets out goals for the town to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Councillor Deborah Quilty explained the plan was made as part of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Transition 2050 project. Paradise received a $36,000 grant towards the work – something councillor Sterling Willis, who sits on the FCM, said he was grateful for.

“FCM has been reaching right across the whole country to have people apply for this funding, and with the plan that’s in place, we fell under that category to receive the funding,” Willis said.

Fundamental Inc., a consulting company based in Harbour Main, was hired to conduct workshops for the Town, and went on to put together a document that outlined their findings.

The document addressed the Town’s greenhouse gas inventory, and its reduction goals. It also, as Quilty explained, details the prioritization of those goals.

Aside from the money attained through the grant, the Town of Paradise has not budgeted any money this year for the things listed in the climate plan. Quilty noted that now that the plan has been adopted, council will have to discuss funding for it.

“The adoption of the climate action plan would align with multiple facets of the Town’s strategic plan, including striving for energy efficiency in municipal operations, and striving for a carbon-neutral footprint in those municipal operations,” Quilty explained.

Council was given a draft version of the plan on June 24 that had been brought forward by members of the Infrastructure and Public Works committee. Town staff later finetuned it to a finalized version in recent weeks, and recommended that council adopt it. The vote to adopt it was unanimous.

Councillor Kimberly Street did however note that the specifics of the plan should be made available to the public, adding she is looking forward to seeing how residents will be able to participate in its goals.

“I feel that this should be shared with the public for transparency and good governance,” said Stret. “I also feel that there is a considerable public interest in climate control, and the town could benefit from knowledgeable concerned citizens. I’m looking forward to the public engagement piece.”

Street added that the cost-savings identified in the plan should be applied to the already existing list of water and sewer work around the community.

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