Sunday, March 25, 2007


The City of Burlington is committed to being “a leader in making a high level of environmental performance a primary goal of its policies.....”

So how is this leader in high level environmental performance doing? Let’s look at greenhouse gas reduction and a report coming to committee of council this week.

In 1994 the City of Burlington pledged to reduce its corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 20%.

These emissions are actually up by 21% according to a staff report being discussed at Tuesday March 27th meeting of Community and Corporate Services Committee. But that isn’t too bad because our population is up 16%, say the report’s authors.

And rather than address how to get to the goal the report suggests the goal be changed.

It references the 20% target.

It looks at the Kyoto target of a 6% reduction.

It contemplates getting back to the 1994 levels.

And finally opts for a new per capita target 40% poorer than the one envisioned in 1994 . (The new target is recommended to be. .07 tonnes per capita emissions versus the .05 tonne goal when the city set the target.)

Other cities are reducing their corporate emissions. Toronto has cut back 36% from 1990 levels. And if a growing city like Calgary can maintain a 6% reduction target surely Burlington can do better.

It is hoped that environmentally aware councillors like Rick Goldring will send this report back for more work or reconfirm the old targets and find ways to achieve them.

Otherwise the city’s self proclaimed role as an environmental leader will be exposed as the fish story it has become.