City to participate in climate program

The City of Yorkton is committing to “participation in the Partners for Climate Protection Program established by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) –Local Governments for Sustainability which targets the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through a comprehensive milestone framework, enacting action plans, and monitoring and reporting results, and furthermore appoints the Mayor and the Director of Finance to be the main PCP contacts whom will be responsible for this file.”

The decision was taken unanimously by Yorkton Council at its regular meeting Monday.

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Over 350 municipal governments across Canada representing over 65 per cent of the population have already committed to reducing corporate and community GHG emissions through the PCP program since its inception in 1994, explained Ashley Stradeski – Director of Finance, with the City.

The PCP program is based on a five-milestone framework that involves completing a GHG inventory and forecast, setting a GHG reduction target, developing a local action plan, implementing the plan, and monitoring progress and reporting results.

“The PCP program offers a proven approach to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the support needed to achieve success,” said Stradeski.

“Being actively engaged in the PCP program gives our municipality the chance to become a leader by taking systematic and organized action on climate change,” detailed Stradeski’s report to Council.

By participating in the PCP program municipalities gain access to various tools and resources.

One of the most important tools is Access via the PCP Hub to a network of over 350 local governments across Canada that are taking action on climate change and can help your community succeed by offering their experience and examples, noted Stradeski.

Also, there is information and access to funding opportunities, such as those offered by FCM's Green Municipal Fund, he said.

Members of the PCP program do have to move through the Milestone Framework within 10 years of joining.

The Milestone Framework, mentioned above, is as follows:

*Milestone 1: Create a Baseline Emissions Inventory and Forecast

*Milestone 2: Set Emissions Reduction Targets

*Milestone 3: Develop a Local Action Plan

*Milestone 4: Implement the Local Action Plan

*Milestone 5: Monitor Progress and Report Results

If a municipality is “not able to meet the PCP program requirements, we can always leave the program and rejoin it at a later date,” said Stradeski.

In addition, Stradeski said, “Many items that reduce GHG’s are also proven cost savers, in the long run.”

For example, reducing our energy or electricity consumption can save us money on our utility bills, which for an organization the size of the City can be substantial.  As the City is a long-term focused organization, any savings can add up significantly over a long enough horizon, detailed the circulated report.

Council was unanimous in its decision to join the program.

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