Gatineau Climate Action plan front and centre at Environment Committee meeting
The Committee on the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change reviewed year one of Gatineau’s Climate Plan at its meeting on October 19, 2023. The Climate Plan was set into motion with the creation of the Ecological Transition Service in May 2022 to provide a framework for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and quickly responding to climate-related emergencies.
Reducing GHG emissions to be carbon neutral by 2050, adapting to climate change, reducing vulnerabilities, and ensuring open governance were among the plan’s four objectives.
The objectives span over twelve priority projects which were made up of 44 priority measures identified by citizens and experts. Totaling 231 measures, Ecological Transition Director Frédéric Vandal said things were still constantly evolving.
The estimated cost of the measures was $104 million but Mr. Vandal noted the estimate was not to finance the plan but its actual value.
Since the plan’s adoption in 2021, major achievements like conducting vulnerability studies of water plants, the Urban Forestry Plan, and the beginnings of the Biodiversity Charter have been checked off the list. The new year will bring new projects like reviewing and amending the actions and measures in the plan, establishing funding sources, and striking up an annual inventory of GHG emissions.
Among the suggestions from the commission members included informing and raising awareness among the population about the actions set out in the plan and promoting the mobilization of citizens by involving them more. “What is the involvement of the companies in the region to ensure that we achieve our objectives,” said Benoit Delage with the Regional Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development in the Outaouais. “Yes, we can regulate with regulations to complete the actions, but we can go even faster and further, embarking together.”
The results of the Climate Plan were presented to the municipal council during the study of the budget on October 30.