A new climate-change co-ordinator has stepped in to help Stratford, St. Marys, Perth County and its lower-tier municipalities complete community-wide greenhouse gas emission-reduction plans.
Following the recent departure of Rebecca Garlick, the previous climate-change co-ordinator, who left for another opportunity and to further her education, Amara Kartick has been hired to finish developing individual plans and an overarching joint plan for all seven Perth County municipalities.
“Right now as I continue on with the plan, it’s really just trying to get it moving forward – so working with all the councils and communities on finalizing the final draft and getting it into implementation stages,” Kartick said Thursday. “The final draft is completed. It’s an inclusive draft of all the municipalities, so it’s one document but everyone is included.”
With the final plan expected to be ready to present to municipal councils before the end of the summer, Kartick said its implementation will begin by expanding the current climate-change working groups in each of the seven municipalities into more formal advisory committees comprising local residents and elected representatives.
Area residents are encouraged to watch for opportunities to get involved with their local climate-change committees once the plan is approved by their councils and implementation begins in each community.
Kartick, a University of Guelph graduate with a bachelor of bio-resources science and a masters of environmental science, comes to the county after working as climate-change consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, where she was responsible for project planning and management for the integration of climate-change priorities within the agricultural sector in Guyana.
“I think I can really draw from that experience and hopefully do the best that I can for these municipalities. … I think the main thing (with implementing the plan) is to try and keep it as inclusive as possible. I really do believe that this plan touches on everyone and, in building it, it really was an inclusive opportunity for everyone to have their say,” she said
The co-ordinator position is supported through a $110,400 grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ climate change staff grants initiative, and through funding from each participating municipality.
The development of the emissions-reduction plan began in 2019 and involved the collection of community emissions data for each municipality, as well as a lengthy public-consultation process complicated further by the COVID-19 pandemic.