Dorchester residents to have input in climate change initiative

Joan LeBlanc
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The residents of the Village of Dorchester will soon get the opportunity to have their say with regards to a local, ongoing climate change initiative. This Saturday, Jan. 25 representatives of EOS Eco-Energy Inc. will be on hand during the Lions Community Breakfast, being held from 7:30-10:30 a.m. at St. Ed’s Hall, 4955 Main Street, to offer information and gain community input on plans for future reduction of energy use.

For the past several years the village has been working to achieve milestone one under the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program, an initiative funded by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and just last fall achieved that first step.

“I’ll be there to provide some background about the PCP program – that is a program for municipal governments and communities to reduce their carbon emissions (energy use), which is a major cause of climate change, and is part of an international initiative,” EOS executive director Amanda Marlin said last week.

She noted that Dorchester signed on to the initiative in 2001 and, with the assistance of EOS, undertook the collection of the village’s baseline emissions in 2011.

“The mayor and council in Dorchester have committed to reduce emissions from their municipal buildings, vehicles and operations by 20 per cent by the year 2021 and they’re asking the community – residents, businesses, industry and institutions combined – to reduce emissions by six per cent by 2021,” Marlin noted.

She added that this is a voluntary program but the municipality would certainly like to see the communities’ participation, so they are hoping to have the opportunity to talk with local residents on Saturday morning at the community breakfast.

Marlin noted that a reduction of just six per cent of carbon emissions equals the equivalent of 384 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.

“One tonne of emissions equals using 42 propane cylinders for barbecues or 424 litres of natural gas,” she said.

Marlin added that other ways of reducing energy or by not letting vehicles idle while parked, carpooling, turning off lights not in use in homes and businesses, turning the heat down a degree or two and generating less waste overall.

“Buying energy star appliances and turning off standby power sources (such as in certain appliances and electronic equipment) also results in less energy usage and a reduction in energy costs,” she said.

Dorchester mayor J.J. Bear said Monday that he hopes those attending the breakfast will take a moment and check out the information being offered by EOS on Saturday.

“The Partners for Climate Protection is a really good program and the work that’s been done to date involving the municipality and EOS together have reached the point of Milestone one; now we’re moving forward with Milestone two. We’re looking forward to our continued cooperation in the future,” he said.

He added that in moving forward toward Milestone two, the village and EOS are seeking input from the citizens of Dorchester as to the specific areas of reducing emissions.

“We’re hoping to identify ways in which we can all reduce our carbon footprint on the environment,” Bear said.

The next step in the PCP program after agreeing on reduction targets for both the municipality and the community will be to develop a reduction plan.

Marlin noted that EOS has recently applied for funding to assist the municipalities of Dorchester, Port Elgin and Sackville with the implementation of emission reduction plans for those communities.

“Depending on the availability of funding for this, we’re hoping to begin by this summer or fall,” she said.

Organizations: Partners for Climate Protection, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, EOS Eco-Energy Lions Community Breakfast

Geographic location: Dorchester, 4955 Main Street, Port Elgin

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