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Selwyn Township reaches milestone in national climate protection program

·2 min read

Selwyn Township has achieved a milestone in its local fight against climate change.

The municipality has completed “Milestone 5” of the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program. PCP — overseen by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI Canada) — is a Canada-wide network of more than 400 municipal governments that have committed to reducing local greenhouse gas emissions.

Through PCP’s Five-step Milestone Framework process, municipalities are given tools, resources and guidance to lower harmful greenhouse gas emissions on a local level. Participating municipal governments, which are required to regularly provide progress reports to PCP, must set emissions reduction targets and craft a local action plan.

Selwyn Township joined the program for climate protection in 2014.

The township achieved “Milestone 5” by monitoring its progress and reporting the results to PCP.

To clear the final hurdle of PCP’s five-stage process, Selwyn Township had to submit an “updated corporate or community inventory for the current (or near current) year; quantification of the GHG reduction impact of each measure outlined in your local action plan; report on how stakeholders and decision makers have been included throughout your milestone process.”

Completing the final stage of the process “demonstrates the leadership of Selwyn Township and its deep commitment to taking action on climate change,” a news release from the municipality stated.

Selwyn Township Mayor Andy Mitchell said the township reached the milestone after introducing and investing in a number of green initiatives, including retrofitting street lighting to LED, leasing a hybrid electric vehicle for the township’s building department, tree planting and installing rooftop solar panels on several buildings in the community.

“Achieving this milestone demonstrates council’s commitment to protecting our environment,” Mitchell stated.

Anahi Reyes Gomez, FCM’s capacity building co-ordinator, said Selwyn Township’s accomplishment “signals that your local government has monitored progress against your local greenhouse gas reduction targets and reported on results to reduce emissions from the community.”

Selwyn Township has shown bold leadership in addressing these important issues,” continued Reyes Gomez.

Even though Selwyn has completed the PCP’s Milestone Framework, PCP stresses that finishing the process doesn’t mean a municipality’s fight against climate change is over. PCP says reaching the milestone is significant, but “it’s not the end of the journey.”

A municipality’s “local action plan is a living document that should be revised as information, ideas and circumstances evolve,” according to PCP’s website.

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at bburke@metroland.com.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner

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