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Citizens Environment Alliance asks Windsor council to focus on climate action

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The Citizens Environment Alliance is advising that the new term of Windsor City Council should focus on climate action.

The CEA has produced a ‘Greener Windsor’ guide highlighting eight issues to help councils and citizens focus on the need for climate mitigation and resilience.

For climate action, the CEA is asking Windsor to follow through on a climate emergency declaration, that the city declared in 2019, with equitable funding for new revenue tools.

They also are asking to speed up implementation of the Community Energy Plan, implement the Active Transportation Plan sooner, including complete streets to protect pedestrians and cyclists in neighborhoods that are lacking active transportation infrastructure, and accelerate the timeline for Net Zero Windsor from 2050.

In terms of climate resilience, the CEA is asking council to implement a fair stormwater reduction and flood protection projects, implement Parks Master Plan goals focused on resilience, ensure adequate financing to achieve goals of the Parks Master Plan to enhance natural areas, and expand amenities that protect health such as shade areas, water fountains and washrooms in public parks.

Derek Coronado, Coordinator for Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, says actions that previous council’s implemented need to be more urgently worked on.

“Back in 2019, the city passed a climate emergency declaration, and emergencies for most people mean urgency in terms of your actions and the actions you take,” he continued. “But, it doesn’t seem to be very urgent for the City of Windsor.”

Coronado says the city has fallen behind in what they need to accomplish.

“It’s putting in plans for new activities and stricter activities which are great. So, for example, the city earlier this year agreed to have science-based targets as well as commit to a Net Zero Windsor by 2050. Those are great plans, but again we have an implementation deficit and a gap between the plans and what needs to be implemented,” he said.

He says this term of council needs to stay focused on climate action.

“The city needs to build resilience, it needs to also mitigate in terms of emissions. And these are the most important environmental activities that the city and the council can undertake over the next four years and we really need to see council focused on this and become climate champions.”

Coronado adds that the new councilors will need to get up to speed on what the previous council has done when it comes to climate change.

He says the CEA will work with the council to ensure that the outlined goals are achieved.

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