On Wednesday, September 12th, Bike Winnipeg was pleased to offer our support for the adoption of Winnipeg’s Climate Action Plan in a presentation before the city’s Executive Policy Committee.
Winnipeg’s Climate Action Plan Begins Process to Reduce GHG Emissions
As a stakeholder in the Climate Action Plan development process, Bike Winnipeg is pleased to offer our support for adoption of the Winnipeg Climate Action Plan and to have spoken in favour of its adoption. We feel that this plan marks an important and necessary step towards fulfillment of Winnipeg’s commitment to reduce GHG’s as per the Big City Mayor’s Caucus signed in 2015, and to our role in achieving the commitments agreed to in the Conference of the Parties (COP21), Paris Climate Change Agreement signed by Canada in 2015.
While we feel that the 2030 target matched to the Low Carbon Path Scenario as presented in the 2011 Community GHG Inventory and Forecast Report may underestimate our potential to achieve emissions reductions by 2030, we also realize that we need to start somewhere, and that adoption of this plan begins that process.
We are heartened by the recommendation to develop detailed greenhouse gas and economic modeling of the plan and urge council and the administration to follow through on the suggestion from page 70 of the report to develop a monitoring and reporting program aligned with the city’s election cycle. The use of this iterative approach allows the city to monitor progress and modify plans and targets in accordance. It is our hope that the iterative action plans developed as part of this process will allow individual action items and projects to be linked to goals that can be monitored and used as the basis for the development of city-side reductions targets.
Reductions in the Transportation Sector will be Key
With over 50% of Winnipeg’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions coming from the transportation sector, it’s clear that any plan to reduce emissions in Winnipeg needs to be centered on a strong commitment to change the way Winnipeg moves its people and its goods. We believe that one of the strongest strategies to reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions is to encourage more walking, cycling, and use of public transit by providing the networks and services that make those methods of transportation more appealing and practical.
Better Cycling Infrastructure Will Reduce Emissions
In a June 2018 Survey conducted by Probe Research, fully 20% of respondents indicated that they would bicycle daily if provided with a safe, comfortable, and connected cycling network. A further 25% of respondents indicated that they would use their bicycle a few times per week in those circumstances. There is clearly an untapped willingness to change in Winnipeg. We have made a lot of progress in making our city a more walkable, bikeable city, but the job is far from finished. Climate Change and its potentially catastrophic effects provide us with an impetus to act, and to need to act boldly.
More information on Winnipeg’s Climate Action Plan
Bike Winnipeg’s submission to the Executive Policy Committee