Sep 13, 2017
During today's Council meeting, Members of City Council unanimously voted in favour of having Mississauga become a member of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (Global Covenant); formerly known as the Compact of Mayors. Through collective actions and progress, Mississauga will join more than 7,000 cities participating in the initiative that represents more than 650 million people worldwide.
'As Canada's sixth largest city, Mississauga is committed to finding real solutions to address issues affecting our changing climate,' said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. 'By becoming a member of the Global Covenant, we're furthering our Strategic Plan's commitment to becoming a net-zero carbon city while sustaining a growing economy.'
The Global Covenant is the largest international coalition of its kind. Established by the United Nations in 2008, it seeks to demonstrate the global impact cities are making to transition to a low emission and climate resilient economy. Crombie will join other Canadian mayors including members from the cities of Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Vancouver and the towns of Oakville and Milton.
Crombie added, 'As a city, we're pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, become more resilient and report on our progress. We've committed to adopting policies and strategies that directly support building a healthy, green and sustainable city with an unrivalled quality of life for our residents and for future generations.'
As a member of the Global Covenant, the City would have three years to comply with four specific phased requirements:
1. Commitment - Public commitment by the Mayor or Council to take action on climate change and to complete the other stages of the Global Covenant.
2. Inventory - Within the first year of joining, report on the Global Covenant's approved platforms, the city's community greenhouse gas inventory and future climate hazards.
3. Target - Within two years of joining, set a community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target. As well as define risks posed by climate change and provide information for identifying measures to adapt to climate change impacts for the community.
4. Plan - Within three years of joining, create a community Action Plan to reduce GHGs and to adapt to climate change.
According to climate projections, Mississauga is expected to experience more extreme weather events such as intense heatwaves, increased rainfall, severe flooding and extreme winter storms in the future.
'Climate change is real and it's happening,' said Michael Cleland, Acting Director of the City's Environment Division. 'GHG's from human activity has caused the changing climate patterns that we are experiencing today, with extreme weather events having the largest impact on our city. We're in the process of developing a comprehensive Climate Change Action Plan called the Climate Change Project that will lead the City's efforts to take action on climate change.'
Since 2009, Mississauga has experienced a number of severe weather events including:
• the 2009 flooding;
• 2013 flooding;
• 2013 ice storm; and
• 2017 high water levels.
Cleland explained, 'These severe weather events have cost the City more than $10 million in damages and cleanup. Through the development of the plan, we will identify specific steps and actions both the community and the City can take to help reduce emissions and prepare for Mississauga's changing climate. From purchasing an electric vehicle to disconnecting downspouts, we all have a role to play when it comes to climate change.'
On June 28, Mississauga City Council endorsed the creation of a city-wide Climate Change Action Plan to help minimize and prepare Mississauga for the impacts of a changing global climate. The City confirmed it will reach total compliance with the Global Covenant at the end of the Climate Change Project. The plan will be complete in early 2019. For more information about the Climate Change Project, visit theclimatechangeproject.ca.
Senior Communications Advisor
City of Mississauga
905-615-3200, ext. 5053