We need a large number of people from the Peterborough region to sign the Peterborough Declaration on Climate Change to join with hundreds of thousands of others across the country in identifying our concern on November 16th, the National Day of Action on Climate Change.
Why is the Declaration necessary?
For the foreseeable future, climate change will threaten the health, prosperity, and environment of the Greater Peterborough Area and its citizens, as well as those people in the rest of Canada.
As described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, people and governments at all levels of society and in every culture will be called upon to bear the rising costs of climate chaos coming through extreme storms, floods and drought. The abundance of carbon-based fuels in Canada no longer guarantees us economic security. On the contrary, our continued burning of these fuels, here and abroad, increases the greenhouse gases that are causing climate problems. The world’s fossil-fuel reserves, if burned, would produce between 3 and 5 times the amount of CO2 required to push the world over the 2-degree temperature rise at which “dangerous climate change” will occur. Most carbon fuels must remain in the ground. The necessary reductions in GHG will require smarter infrastructure, new government models and policy innovations. One necessary policy change is the institution of a carbon tax across Canada, leading to higher prices and decreased consumption of energy. A carbon tax must be made part of a global agreement similar to that forged in the 1980’s by which HFC’s were reduced to save atmospheric ozone which shields us from ultraviolet radiation.
This will require significant changes in lifestyle, including more collaboration in and across communities, conservation of energy, and a rapid move to renewable energy. In addition to its being a survival strategy, such a move will result in better health, more green space, more jobs, more efficient transportation systems and better food.
In a forward-looking move, the Greater Peterborough Area – the County, City, eight Townships, and two First Nations — approved a regional Sustainability Plan in 2012. Integrating economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects of our common life, the Plan will guide our communities as they build prosperity, human well-being and a sound environmental future while mitigating climate change. (http://www.SustainablePeterborough.ca).
Following the guidance and wisdom from the First Peoples, we seek to ensure Peterborough’s and Canada’s well-being for the next 7 generations.
Therefore we call on:
Individuals, organizations, businesses and governments to move vigorously and strategically towards more resilient and sustainable communities in all their actions, plans and policies.
Politicians and staff to integrate the existing and evolving Peterborough Sustainability Plan into all municipal planning decisions.
Citizens to require their politicians and other representatives at municipal, provincial, and national levels, to change “business as usual” thinking, and adopt pro-active policies such as the imposition of a carbon tax, and local economic development for essential life services.
This Declaration is already supported by the following local groups:
Carbon Neutral Kawarthas
Council of Canadians
For Our Grandchildren
Kawartha World Issues Centre
Peterborough County-City Health Unit
Peterborough Greenspace Coalition
Sacred Water Circle
Safe and Green Energy Peterborough
Transition Town Peterborough