Councillor's motion to push back city's climate action plan fails
LONDON, Ont. -- An effort to stall London's climate change action plan fell short Monday night at city hall.
Councillor Michael Van Holst challenged the science behind climate change, and asked staff to take another look at the need for a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"These things aren't necessarily true that we are hearing and we should be certain that they are true before we move ahead."
He received support from Councillor Paul Van Meerbergen, who added, "People are screaming to widen Southdale, are we going to tell them no because of climate change?"
But Mayor Ed Holder spoke in support of the climate change action plan.
"If there is a time to pay significant attention to the issues of our environment it is now so I will not support the referral."
Ultimately only two councillors opposed the plan and Van Holst's motion to refer the report back to staff failed 11 to two.
Instead the staff report responding to council's declaration of a climate emergency will move forward.
Councillor Elizabeth Peloza says, "This report before us does help us get to those solutions, recognizing that municipalities are responsible for half of the greenhouse gas emitted.
The plan includes a goal to make London a net-zero greenhouse gas community by 2050 - in line with federal targets.
But staff said that target may get more aggressive.
Among the strategies; evaluating all major projects to consider the impact on climate change and ramping up London's urban forest strategy.
Several councillors warned that achieving the goal will require everyone in London to make changes.