Canada’s municipal leaders return from Paris determined to continue the fight against climate change (10/12/2015)
OTTAWA -- A delegation of Canadian mayors and municipal councillors has returned home from COP21 -- the UN climate change conference in Paris. . The delegation, organized by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, attended the conference to demonstrate the critical role cities and local communities play in the fight against climate change.
"The Paris conference has left our entire delegation optimistic and reenergized as we prepare to push ahead with the fight against climate change in our home communities and in municipalities across Canada," said FCM President Raymond Louie, who led the municipal delegation. "The international community now recognizes that any successful effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions requires a full partnership with local governments. Canada's municipalities are proud of the work done in Paris, working as a real team with our federal partners to set new environmental targets that will improve the lives of all Canadians."
During the conference, FCM delegates:
- Played an active role as part of the official Canadian delegation to ensure that municipal voices and the priorities of all Canadians are reflected in the negotiations.
- Attended discussions with international partners to share Canadian expertise and leadership.
- Gathered practical knowledge, ideas and new, productive relationships from around the world back to take back to their local communities.
- Took part in discussions on a range of climate change issues including: protecting communities from the effects of extreme weather related disasters; the economic benefits of fighting climate change such as job creation and disaster prevention; and how municipalities will pay for the technologies and measures needed to prevent climate change.
"Municipalities have a strong track record of implementing green strategies such as better public transit, more energy-efficient buildings, electric vehicles, improved waste management, and clean water projects," said Pauline Quinlan, Mayor of Bromont, Quebec, and Chair of FCM's Environment and Sustainable Development Committee. "We were happy to share that expertise with our international partners and look forward to studying what others have done around the world that might be adapted to the needs of Canadians."
Canada's municipalities are now looking toward the next phase in the fight against climate change that will begin once the Paris conference concludes.
"The millions of Canadians who live in our cities and communities are counting on us to improve their living conditions and give them greener, more environmentally friendly places to live", said FCM President Raymond Louie. "We now look forward to rolling up our sleeves and working with our federal and provincial partners to achieve the objectives that are set during this crucial conference."
FCM is the national voice of municipal government. In leading the municipal movement, FCM works to align federal and local priorities, recognizing that strong hometowns make for a strong Canada.