Grey County is developing a Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP)
The CCAP is a comprehensive strategy that will focus on identifying strategies to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve energy efficiency. As Grey County’s population continues to grow, it is important to understand how we can best manage future growth in a sustainable manner. This will help us mitigate potential impacts to our environmental, economic, social, and infrastructural systems.
The action plan will focus on six key theme areas: Buildings, Transportation, Waste, Agriculture, Land-Use, and Energy.
It will assess Grey County’s energy use today and focus on climate change mitigation efforts to reduce emissions created by the Corporation of Grey County (i.e. County services, fleet, public buildings, etc.) and the community (i.e. residents, businesses, institutions, visitors, etc.).
Development of the CCAP will include measuring emissions, setting GHG reduction targets, establishing a clear vision and goals, and then defining strategies and an effective implementation approach to ensure the plan can be put into action.
There are many benefits of a Climate Change Action Plan for the community, businesses, and the local economy.
Some of these benefits include:
• Reduced energy costs as a result of more energy efficient technologies and practices.
• Reduced air pollution and improved health from more active transportation, public transit, and carpooling;
• Increased energy security through use of more renewable energy systems and reduced power outages and interruptions;
• New jobs and economic growth in the building and construction industries and clean energy sector;
• Growing tourism industry from the expansion of electric vehicle use, conservation of our natural heritage, and investment in more sustainable practices;
• Economic growth in the agricultural industry as a result of more efficient agricultural practices; and
• Other social and health benefits as a result of ecological conservation, better waste practices, and sustainable land-use planning.
The action plan requires input from community stakeholders.
Everyone has a role to play in mitigating and adapting to climate change. This page will be updated to include Council meeting reports, developments made in the plan, and opportunities for public engagement. We will reach out through emails and social media to invite participation in our surveys. Want to stay connected? Our mailing list sign up is below.
The CCAP is being developed by Grey County with support and expertise provided by ICLEI Canada.
Who is involved?
Climate Change Working Group
A Climate Change Working Group has been formed including a wide range of departments and key external stakeholders. This group will contribute technical knowledge and provide advice and recommendation as the plan is developed. The group will inform greenhouse gas reduction targets, opportunities to reduce energy emissions, and more. Stakeholders include: Indigenous groups, conservation authorities, health unit staff, municipal staff and others.
Climate Change Task Force
The Climate Change Task Force consists of Grey County Councillors and County staff. This task force supports a climate-conscious Grey and provides input in the development of the Climate Change Action Plan and recommendations for Council direction.
The planning process follows the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and ICLEI Canada’s Partners for Climate Protection five-milestone framework.
Milestone 1 – Create a baseline emissions inventory and forecast.
Milestone 2 – Set emissions reductions targets.
Milestone 3 – Develop and local action plan.
Milestone 4 – Implement the local action plan.
Milestone 5 – Monitor progress and report results.
Grey County’s plan will be developed throughout 2020. Community and stakeholder engagement will happen throughout the process. The plan will be presented to Grey County Council for adoption in the fall of 2020.
Agricultural Survey Preliminary Results
Grey County completed an agricultural survey in August 2020 to understand the impacts of climate change on the agricultural community. The survey was intended to showcase general thoughts and provide feedback to the County on ideas and perspective members of the community have on climate change.
Generally, the survey found that more than half the respondents were concerned about the impacts of climate change on their farms and large majority of them were familiar with farm sustainability and resilience practices. The most cited challenges to implementing agricultural sustainability included factors such as cost, funding, regulatory red tape and income related challenges. Respondents indicated that shrinking profit margins, high technology and operating costs and difficulty accessing funding combine to hinder their ability to implement on-farm sustainability practices. Respondents specified that funding is available to larger farm operations often leaving small scale farmers without consistent funding sources. Other respondents indicated a need for more systemic change to enable sustainable agriculture and indicated a need for access to appropriate machinery, technology, knowledge and expert advice as to how to implement farm sustainability. Solutions that was identified in the survey included promoting sustainability practices that encourage change and provide resources and supports for more holistic and regenerative practices. While the survey provided great insights into the perspectives of the agricultural community, Grey County is looking for further feedback. The goal from these ongoing conversations is to understand the various types of policies that should be included in the Climate Change Action Plan which would support in the reduction of GHG emissions across the region.
The full survey results will be released to the public later this year.
Please reach out to Hiba Hussain at email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns.