Hamilton’s demanding Climate Change Action Charter

Charter a partnership of community organizations and individuals

No 443 Posted by fw, March 25, 2012

This post is an update to a September, 2011 post and is presented in three short parts –

Part One — Clean Air Hamilton’s Media Release, Hamilton First in Ontario with Climate Charter, October 12, 2011

Part Two — Hamilton’s Climate Change Charter, a short video about the Charter

Part ThreeHamilton Climate Change Action Charter – a copy of the Charter itself

Part OneClean Air Hamilton’s Media Release, Hamilton First in Ontario with Climate Charter, October 12, 2011

HAMILTON, ON – October 12, 2011 – Hamilton introduces the first community Climate Change Charter in Ontario.  Clean Air Hamilton, Green Venture, Environment Hamilton and other community groups have teamed up to introduce and endorse Hamilton’s Climate Change Action Charter in the community.

“There is an increasing number of cities and regions from around the world that are developing their own actions to deal with climate change” states Brian McCarry, Chair of Clean Air Hamilton. “Climate change is increasingly being tackled at a local level. We are pleased to partner with organizations and individuals in the community of Hamilton to support and introduce this Charter”. 

The Charter has won support from a number of business, academic and environmental groups including McMaster University, Mohawk College, the Hamilton Conservation Authority, Union Gas, The First Unitarian Church of Hamilton, McKibbon Wakefield Inc., Green Venture, Environment Hamilton, Dundas in Transition, Sustainable Hamilton, Eco Churches of West Hamilton, Corr Research, Greening Marketing Inc., Hamilton 350, CHASE Canada, as well as Clean  Air Hamilton. The Community Climate Change Action Charter is a voluntary statement that acknowledges the reality of climate change and asks commitment to measure and set targets for the reduction of emissions at the personal, organizational and community level.

Hamilton has been recognized by the World Wildlife Fund as one of the top cities in Canada addressing climate change. Community greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 were estimated at 12,891,371 tonnes, a reduction of 26% from 2006 emissions levels (estimated at 17,382,000 tonnes). These changes occurred due to the downturn in the economy, reduced energy demand due to a cooler summer, improved energy efficiency and conservation actions in the community, and the shifting of energy from coal as part of the Province’s actions towards the phasing out of coal in Ontario’s energy mixture sources by 2014.

Clean Air Hamilton is a community-based action committee composed of representatives from government, academic institutions, industry, environmental organizations and residential associations.

Part TwoHamilton’s Climate Change Charter, an embedded short video about the Charter uploaded by InsideCityofHamilton on Nov 1, 2011. Hamilton is the first city in Ontario to have a Climate Change Charter. Aside many other businesses, organizations, and even churches, Hamilton recognizes the issue needs to be addressed.

Part ThreeHamilton Climate Change Action Charter — Made available by Climate Change Hamilton.ca

The Hamilton Climate Change Action Charter is a voluntary agreement that action on climate change is needed. The Charter builds awareness and communication within Hamilton on climate change and can be used by individual citizens and organizations and businesses of all types and sizes.

Signing the Hamilton Climate Change Action Charter is a way to show commitment to tackle the causes and consequences of climate change. It represents a broad public statement that any Hamilton individual or organization can make.

We …………………………………………………………………….the undersigned agree that:

A) Scientific evidence shows climate change is happening now. There is consensus that greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity are seriously affecting Earth’s climate.

B) Climate change is having increasingly negative impacts on all of Hamilton’s residents, environments, and economy.

C) We need to take responsibility and act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change impacts in ways that promote economic prosperity, health and environmental benefits for all.

D) It is important for individuals and organizations to share ideas and best practices and coordinate efforts to accomplish these goals as effectively as possible.

We…………………………………………………………………………………………… commit to:

1) Keep informed of new information on climate change and its impacts in order to understand risks and effects on us as individuals and organizations.

2) Establish a baseline measurement of our current contribution to climate change through our activities.

3) Set significant specific targets for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, identifying where we will focus our efforts to achieve those targets.

4) Take personal responsibility for these climate change commitments, and in the case of businesses or organizations assign responsibility to a senior individual. Collaborate with other groups, individuals, organizations, and businesses to address causes and consequences of climate change.

5) Report annually to the community and celebrate successes in reducing emissions and/or creating resiliency in response to climate change impacts during Hamilton’s Climate Change Action Month in October.

6) Engage, educate, and involve individuals, families, groups, businesses, organizations, and other entities to also commit to this Charter and work collectively to address climate change.

EXPLANATORY NOTES

Signing the Hamilton Climate Change Action Charter is a way to show commitment to tackle the causes and consequences of climate change. It represents a broad public statement that any Hamilton individual or organization can make. There are no pre-signing requirements, however signing the Charter indicates a commitment to take action.

1. Keep informed: Information about climate change is continually emerging. Signatories need to stay informed of the impacts of climate change to be aware of opportunities and risks.

2. Establish a baseline: Activities that cause greenhouse gas emissions include energy use, transportation, water use, and waste generation. Measuring our current carbon footprint provides a baseline against which to measure improvements. It also helps identify areas where we can create the greatest possible benefit, which makes it easier to set realistic plans and targets.

3. Set targets: The Charter enables signatories to set their own targets. Ambitious goals are encouraged.

4. Take personal responsibility and collaborate: By signing the Charter, individuals and organizations join a common effort to address climate change in Hamilton. Senior leadership encourages cultural change and commitment to action within an organization.

5. Report and celebrate annually: Signatories should show their progress in meeting their Charter commitments. October is Hamilton’s Climate Change Action month, providing an opportunity for signatories to showcase their achievements and learn from each other.

6. Engage, educate, and involve: Education about climate change and its impacts promotes public understanding, and encourages us to reduce our Greenhouse Gas emissions and become more resilient.

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Fair Use Notice: This blog, Citizen Action Monitor, may contain copyrighted material that may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material, published without profit, is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues. It is published in accordance with the provisions of the 2004 Supreme Court of Canada ruling and its six principle criteria for evaluating fair dealing.
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