As a member of the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee, I am pleased to share with you presentation we received at the technical briefing we received on Friday, October 9, 2020.
Ottawa – Helping the environment and protecting Ottawa from climate change are projected to generate a net return of $87.7 billion for investments made by 2050. The City released an ambitious plan to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, part of the final report for Energy Evolution. Energy Evolution is the City’s strategy to reduce emissions, manage energy use, promote renewable energy and advance local economic development opportunities.
Council declared a climate emergency last year and approved targets to reduce emissions by 100 per cent by 2040 within the corporation, and by 2050 Ottawa-wide. The City cannot achieve these targets alone. We need collaboration and investments from all sectors and all levels of government.
The report provides a model that shows what Ottawa needs to do to meet these targets: reduce demand for energy significantly, phase out fossil fuels, move to heating and transportation that produce zero emissions, use waste heat, produce renewable natural gas and generate enough renewable electricity to meet demand.
To meet these targets, an estimated $57.4 billion will be required – on top of planned investments – over the next 30 years. Savings and revenue would start to exceed annual investments in 2032, with a projected net return of $87.7 billion for investments made by 2050.
Transitioning to low-carbon energy sources will help grow the local economy, improve public health, equity and inclusion, increase climate resiliency and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Staff propose 20 projects, to be implemented in collaboration with the community over the next five years. The projects focus on the most impactful ways to reduce emissions: electrifying personal and commercial vehicles, retrofitting residential and commercial buildings, and studying options to turn organic waste into renewable natural gas. Staff would apply an equity and inclusion lens and consult with stakeholders and residents before seeking Committee approval for each project.
Council committed that any surplus from Hydro Ottawa dividends would go towards energy efficiency or conservation, or renewable energy programs. Last year’s surplus of $2.6 million would support the proposed projects and help us leverage federal and provincial funding.
The City is committed to protecting Ottawa’s economy, ecosystems and communities from the effects of climate change. Staff across the corporation would consider the model and targets when developing corporate plans and policies like the new Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Solid Waste Master Plan and Green Fleet Plan.
The Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management will consider the report on Tuesday, October 20.