For the foreseeable future, climate change will threaten the health, prosperity and environment of the Greater Peterborough Area and its residents, as well as people in the rest of Canada and in the world. The problem is too large for individuals alone to solve, without government introduction of measures such as a revenue-neutral carbon tax which has been very successful in reducing greenhouse gases elsewhere. Let's work together for a sustainable future! Share this petition with your friends.
We need as many people as possible to sign the Peterborough Declaration on Climate Change and thereby join thousands of other Canadians in expressing our concerns as we move towards the UN Climate Summit on September 23.
Preamble: Why is the Declaration necessary?
Climate change poses a grave threat to the environment of the Greater Peterborough Area (GPA) and therefore to the health and prosperity of its citizens. If left unchecked, climate chaos will result in increasingly expensive and traumatic floods, droughts and extreme storms.
Our continued burning of fossil fuels increases the greenhouse gases (GHGs) that are causing the problem. The world's existing fossil fuel reserves, if burned, will produce three to five times the amount of CO2 required to push the planet over 2 degrees C of warming. Science is warning us that warming over 2 degrees will almost certainly result in "dangerous climate change". Therefore, most of the carbon in these reserves must remain in the ground.
Society will not change its habits as long as fossil fuels remain the cheaper option. Many economists therefore agree that the most important action we can take is adopting a revenue-neutral carbon tax across Canada, where the taxes are returned to citizens in the form of tax credits. Such a tax is very successful and popular in BC, where it has led to more expensive fossil fuel prices and therefore to less fossil fuel consumption, without hurting the economy. A price on carbon must eventually become part of a global agreement, such as that forged in the 1980s to reduce HFC's in order to protect the ozone layer which shields us from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
A low-carbon future will require a rapid move to renewable energy and much greater energy conservation, partly through an emphasis on economic localization: using local resources to produce a large portion of the goods, services, food, and energy we consume. In the process, we will enjoy better health, more jobs and better food.
In a forward-looking move, the GPA—the County, City, eight townships and two First Nations—approved a regional Sustainability Plan in 2012 (www.sustainablepeterborough.ca). The plan will guide our communities in building prosperity and human well-being while mitigating climate change. Out of this plan, in 2014 the GPA has received grants over $400,000 to develop a plan to reduce energy consumption and GHGs.
Following the guidance and wisdom from the First Peoples, we seek to ensure Peterborough's and Canada's well-being for the next 7 generations.
Therefore we call on:
Individuals, organizations, businesses and governments to move vigorously and strategically towards more resilient and sustainable communities in all their actions, plans and policies.
Politicians and staff to integrate the existing and evolving Peterborough Sustainability Plan into all municipal planning decisions.
Citizens to require their politicians and other representatives at municipal, provincial, and national levels, to change "business as usual" thinking, and adopt pro-active policies such as the imposition of a carbon tax, and economic localization.
This Declaration is supported by the following local groups: Peterborough County-City
Health Unit, Peterborough Green-Up, Transition Town Peterborough, Council of
Canadians – Peterborough, Community Opportunities & Innovation Network, Hatch Peterborough, Peterborough Greenspace
Coalition, Carbon Neutral Kawarthas, Friends of Jackson Park, Peterborough
Health Coalition, Peterborough & District Labour Council, Kawartha World Issues Centre, Affirm United Peterborough, Peterborough AIDS Research Network, Sustainable Trent, Peterborough Field Naturalists.