Hamels: Planning without considering climate change? Ottawa deserves better

By Johan Hamels, Ottawa Citizen, March 29, 2019

As citizens of the world, we in Ottawa know that future summers, winters and our weather in general will become more extreme. Climate change is happening and is having a direct impact on our neighbourhoods, on our infrastructure and on our individual and collective budgets.

We also understand that we must lower our greenhouse gas emissions and invest in mitigating the impacts of climate change. Such major changes in transport, construction and behaviour require a high level of public legitimacy and commitment of citizens, businesses and the city.

Mobilizing citizens for such changes demands a clearly expressed vision and implementation tools, and supports that enable individuals, households and local businesses and organizations to participate in this transition. Doing this well can make climate change policies a winning strategy for the city and residents alike.

(...)As a G7 capital city, we should aim for zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Yet, Ottawa completely missed the mark to promote this energy neutral vision during recent consultations on the new public library and the Official Plan. The public library project is an investment for the next 50+ years, yet the consultation process makes no mention of energy use or energy production potential.


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