Bowman backs emission co-ordinator, public reports

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MAYOR Brian Bowman said Winnipeg needs a climate change co-ordinator and committed to making reports about the city's greenhouse gas emissions public.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/09/2015 (2638 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

MAYOR Brian Bowman said Winnipeg needs a climate change co-ordinator and committed to making reports about the city’s greenhouse gas emissions public.

Last week, the city allowed the contract for climate change co-ordinator Sean Madden to lapse and stated the position is under review. It was later revealed Madden had authored a report stating the city is not meeting reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions, but that report was not made public.

On Wednesday, Bowman said the city will fill the position for a climate change co-ordinator and pledged to release future emissions reports.

“We do need a co-ordinator,” Bowman said.

In 2009, council approved a plan to cut city greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2019.

“That work has to happen,” said Bowman, who campaigned last year on a promise of more openness at city hall. “We have lots more work to do.”

Winnipeg chief planner Braden Smith said earlier this week the city did not conduct a full inventory of its emissions in 2009. As a result, the reduction target for 2019 is tougher to achieve.

Wednesday, Smith said Madden’s final report is almost ready to send to senior city officials. He said he hopes to package it with a completed community climate change action plan, which would chronicle ways for all of Winnipeg — not just city facilities — to cut emissions.

“The community emissions piece is even more significant,” Smith said. The city’s corporate emissions — greenhouse gases emanating from city-owned buildings, vehicles, landfills and lights — amount to a small fraction of the emissions in Winnipeg, he said.

It should take about six weeks for the reports to work their way through the administrative system and be made public, Smith said.

Bowman said he looked forward to seeing them. “This is an important file for me and one I’ve been working on implementing with other big-city mayors,” he said. “A good chunk of global greenhouse gases comes from our cities.”

At a Federation of Canadian Municipalities meeting in July, Bowman and 20 other mayors passed a resolution committing to greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets in all government levels.

Bowman also committed Wednesday to strengthening the mayor’s environmental advisory committee, which has not met since his election in October.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

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