Peterborough declares a Climate Emergency

On September 23 Peterborough city council unanimously passed a motion declaring a Climate Emergency. Here is the text of the motion.


  1. Climate change is the greatest crisis of our times worldwide, harming human and animal populations through extreme storms, severe flooding, record heat waves, prolonged droughts, and other natural disasters
  2. Climate change is contributing to billions of dollars in property and infrastructure damage worldwide and is viewed as the major public health threat in Canada for cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses and deaths
  3. International research has concluded that there is a need for massive carbon emissions reductions within the next 11 years to avoid further devastating damage to our environment, economy, and society
  4. Over 450 local governments, including 40 Canadian communities such as Ottawa, London, Hamilton, and Kingston have acknowledged this urgency by officially declaring a climate emergency. They are committed to action to drive down emissions at emergency speed. These Climate Emergency Declarations importantly involve the public and serve as Calls to Action by the Community as well as by Council and other levels of government.


Be it resolved that staff, working with the new Peterborough Environmental Advisory Committee (PEAC), be requested to report back to Council on the implications of the City of Peterborough officially declaring a climate emergency for the purposes of naming, framing, and deepening our commitment to protecting our community, its economy, and its eco systems from climate change; and

That staff, working with the PEAC, be requested to also report on the opportunities to:

  1. Greatly accelerate timelines for our existing actions to reduce the effects of climate change;
  2. Add new actions and proposals to reduce greatly our GHG emissions;
  3. Identify the budgetary implications of proposed actions, including opportunities to engage all other levels of government and private sources, to combat climate change;
  4. Incorporate a climate change lens into all city actions and policies recognizing the need to achieve a target of 45% GHG emission reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050;
  5. Engage and educate the general public regarding this crisis to support the city’s efforts to meet these goals; and,
  6. That staff report back to Council by the end of the first quarter, 2020.

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