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Waterloo to debate on declaring a climate emergency

Waterloo's Ward 1 Councillor, Tenille Bonoguore, discussed her reasons for supporting a municipal climate action plan on Kitchener Today with Brian Bourke on 570 NEWS
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Climate change concerns has one councillor in Waterloo urging the city to take action.

A motion of notice filed for Nov. 18th will have councillors from Waterloo meeting to debate the decision of calling a climate emergency.

Tenille Bonoguore, Ward 1 Councillor, City of Waterloo told Kitchener Today with Brian Bourke on 570 NEWS, Waterloo should join other municipalities in declaring an emergency.

Amongst the tri-cities, Kitchener has already announced a climate emergency and Cambridge will debate the issue on Nov. 5th. 

Bonoguore says while Waterloo is part of a regional plan with other communities to reduce carbon reductions, the city itself has yet to make its own plan to combat climate change.

According to her, the city needs a plan that focuses on both economical and environmental factors.

"What I'm putting forward with the motion is to actually create a corporate climate action," says Bonoguore, "Which would basically create a framework within the city itself, to adopt our own city corporate goal, like within the city operations, and to find ways to meet that as well." 

However, Bonoguore says she is not trying to be directive about how the City of Waterloo should go about implementing it.

"I want to say this is the goal we have, and the goal is to have a corporate climate action plan that has a framework that accounts for our carbon budget," says Bonoguore, "How we assess the economic action of our carbon plan, and things like that." 

"Yes it's going to cost money, but it's money we should be spending anyway."  

Bonoguore goes on to say the City of Waterloo should declare a climate emergency as they have the opportunity to act and have already begun to do so.

"One of the things I like the most about municipal politics and municipalities, is that we are the most nimble form of government." says Bonoguore, "So while we're waiting for federal levels and provincial levels to sort themselves out, municipalities can act."

"We're seeing that in a number places around the world where municipalities and cities are taking the lead in terms of addressing climate change." says Bonoguore.

"If enough cities do that, given the percentage of humans living in an urban context, we could end up having the most majority of people, engaged in effective climate action." 

Although the meeting between councillors will determine the support for such a plan, Bonoguore says full support isn't guaranteed.

"I'm asking for a corporate climate action plan, we'll finding out on the 18th if the rest of council supports that, none of this is a given." says Bonoguore, "This is a motion that's going forward, we get to debate it and we get to discuss it." 

"We may pass it, we may not pass it. We won't find out till then, but I honestly believe that this is the way we need to be going."




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