RELEASE — Acting on Council’s priority to “demonstrate leadership on climate action,” the City of Kingston has introduced a new division to further focus on tackling this issue.
The newly minted Climate Leadership Division will be focused on climate actions identified by Council in its Strategic Plan , and will report to the Commissioner of Business, Environment & Projects. The division has been created with existing staff resources that have experience working on several climate action projects.
“As a City, we’re committed to achieving a 15 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over 2018 levels by 2022, and carbon neutrality by 2040. These are ambitious targets!” says Mayor Paterson. “It’s important that we have resources and staff dedicated to climate action. I’m pleased to see a City division created that will work hard to achieve these goals and make sure we are examining future decisions through a climate lens.”
The City declared a climate emergency last year and has made demonstrating leadership on climate action one of its five strategic priorities.
This new division has a full roster of projects to realize, many of which are already underway, including:
- the introduction of a home energy retrofit program to help residents reduce their home’s carbon footprint,
- the development of a community climate change fund,
- the creation of a net-zero new build policy, and
- the Climate Leadership Plan.
This last item, the Climate Leadership Plan, will act as a corporate and community climate change management strategy and will help inform how we can all reduce harmful emissions.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we will be working with all departments and residents in order to realize drastic reductions in GHG emissions. Climate change is a global issue, and we have the opportunity here in Kingston to introduce local solutions that will benefit our community, and inspire others,” says Julie Salter-Keane, Manager of the Climate Leadership Division.
“The creation of the Climate Leadership Division will help ensure City staff are all well positioned to continue to deliver on Council’s strategic priorities in future years,” says CAO Lanie Hurdle.
The City’s new organizational structure can be found at CityofKingston.ca/city-hall/departments.