Village of Port Elgin seeks input for climate change initiative

Joan LeBlanc
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Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 6-7 p.m.

PORT ELGIN, N.B. – The Village of Port Elgin is seeking local input for the next phase of its ongoing climate change initiative. The mayor and council encourage local residents to attend a short, one-hour meeting at the Port Elgin fire hall on Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 6-7 p.m. to give input on energy reductions initiatives.

“We’re hoping to see a lot of village residents turn out for this meeting; we really need their input,” councillor Val MacDermid said Monday.

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 achieved that first step in 2013. The second step includes identifying a target with regards to a reduction in energy emissions. The village has committed to reducing its emissions from municipal buildings, vehicles and operations by 20 per cent by the year 2021. The village is asking residents to reduce their energy emissions by at least six per cent by 2021.

“Six per cent is not a lot, and I think we could make it higher than that. It really wouldn’t be that difficult to reduce emissions by 20 per cent in any household. Using a power bar for electronic appliances – ones that have standby power and clocks running all of the time – shutting them off when not in use can save you about seven dollars per month on your power bill. Besides the issue of environmental protection, I don’t think anyone wants to give the power company any more of their hard-earned money than they have to,” MacDermid said.

She also suggested not letting cars idle and turning off lights when not in use, practices which also reduce energy consumption.

Representatives of EOS Eco-Energy Inc. will be at the meeting to offer information and gain community input on plans for future reduction of energy use.

“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 Monday.

She noted that Port Elgin is one of only 17 communities in New Brunswick to take action on climate change by being part of this international initiative to reduce emissions.

“It is a five-step process; Port Elgin has been a member of the program since 2009. The only communities in the province to complete all five steps are Fredericton and Bathurst,” she said.

Marlin noted that many municipalities have chosen to be part of the program for environmental reasons, but they also see it as an opportunity for sustainable economic and community development.

“Addressing local environmental issues can create new markets and jobs (new shuttle business, solar panel business, etc) and have a positive impact on tourism,” she said.

She added that the Partners of Climate Change Protection program is a voluntary program but the municipality would certainly like to see the communities’ participation.

“We’re hoping to see a good number of residents turn out for the meeting,” Marlin said.

Organizations: Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Partners for Climate Protection, EOS Eco-Energy Partners of Climate Change Protection

Geographic location: Port Elgin, New Brunswick, Fredericton

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