Open Letter to Mayor Brown and Members of Brampton Council Regarding Grow Green Initiatives

We the undersigned are members of the Brampton Environmental Alliance, an advocacy not-for-profit organization representing individuals and organizations in Brampton and the Region of Peel, with the vision for Brampton to be a sustainable community, one that is healthy and resilient economically, socially, and environmentally. As our City continues to grow, we must demonstrate and maintain our commitment to grow green.   

The City has focused on addressing the spread of COVID-19 for the past 20 months. As we start to gain control over the pandemic, climate change will continue to negatively impact Brampton residents as the climate crisis worsens. Climate change disproportionately affects women, indigenous populations, and people of colour. Stresses associated with climate change also impact the mental health of our children and youth. Climate change mitigation and adaptation requires our ongoing undivided attention. 

Deliberations on the City’s 2022 Proposed Budget are coming soon, and we request that Council continue moving forward on implementing the Brampton 2040 Vision and prioritizing funding to enhance the City’s Grow Green Environmental Master Plan.

The City of Brampton declared a climate emergency in 2019 and has since set a bold green agenda to do its part in reducing GHG emissions. We cannot turn back or lose momentum. In particular, the following initiatives have helped move the City from environmental laggard to leader and we strongly encourage the City to continue to fund and resource these programs:

  • Community Energy and Emissions Reductions Plan: Continue implementing Brampton’s CEERP to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and maintain contributions to the recently established energy efficiency retrofit Reserve. Brampton aims to achieve a target of 80 percent GHG reductions by 2050 and an interim target of 30% by 2030.
  • Grow Green Environmental Master Plan: Continue to implement the 5-year action plan to improve Brampton’s overall environmental sustainability performance.
  • Centre for Community Energy Transformation: Establish this not-for-profit, community-based organization that will accelerate Brampton towards a low-carbon future and create economic advantage.
  • One Million Trees Program: Continue supporting tree planting to reach the target of one million trees by 2040, grow the urban forest, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and foster the delivery of ecosystem services. That’s an average of 50,000 trees per year with appropriate forest management.
  • Brampton Transit Electrification Program: Continue advocacy and investments that support the implementation of a fully electric, zero-emissions bus fleet.
  • Green Fleet investments including Electric Fire Trucks: Continue ongoing investments to electrify city vehicles as they are replaced.
  • Implement the Active Transportation Master Plan: Continue expediting, investing in and advocating for a solid active transportation network that will encourage people to choose active transportation (cycling, micro-mobility, walking) instead of cars.
  • Zero Emissions Buildings: Ensure the Susan Fennell Sportsplex becomes the City’s first Zero Carbon facility but do not let it be the last. Look for opportunities to renovate and build more zero emissions buildings.
  • Backyard Garden Program: Support food security in our city by continuing the backyard garden program that encourages residents to grow produce on their property and donate their home-grown crops to local food banks and community organizations.  

These initiatives are foundational to realizing Brampton’s 2040 Vision and achieving significant GHG reductions in this declared climate emergency. Yet much work remains for Brampton, the fastest growing large city in Canada. According to the most recent IPCC report, global carbon emissions must peak by 2025 to maintain the 1.5 °C “safe” limit for temperature rise as outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement. Canada, being one of the economically privileged countries, will be under pressure to step up its carbon reduction commitment during and after the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26). As one of Canada’s top ten urban centres, Brampton can and must step up its commitment to help the country achieve carbon reduction targets. 

The Globe and Mail recently published a keynote address HRH Prince of Wales presented at COP 26 where he stated that the private sector holds the key to creating the technology, innovation, and access to capital that will build the required infrastructure necessary for climate stability. But, according to the extensive conversations he has had with private sector leaders from around the world, they are looking for “clear market signals from governments so they can plan for the long-term. This would boost confidence in existing projects and attract the necessary institutional investment for new ones.” 

The leadership and direction from municipal governments is equally as important as from the Federal and Provincial levels. The businesses that we have and want to attract to Brampton will be looking for this clear signal so they can make a long-term commitment to low-carbon economic development in Brampton.

As we embark upon a COVID economic recovery, now is the time to double down on the environmental commitments and base that recovery on a low-carbon economy that will provide a sustainable present and future for Brampton.

Signed,

Organizations
David Laing – BikeBrampton
Brian Diaz – Unifor West GTA Regional Environment Council
Rosemary Keenan – Sierra Club Ontario, Peel Group
Ephraim Mwaura – Heart Lake Run
Stacey Wilson – Friends of Dorchester Park
Rajbalinder Ghatoura – Human Impact Environment

Individuals
John Wilson
Chris McGlynn
Bruce Marshall
Stephen Laidlaw
Hibba Haque
Rafae Azhar
Laura Bowman
Dayle Laing
Sabeen Abbas
Barry Lavallée
Harry Bridgemohan


Sonia Maset
Lisa Stokes
Cindy Evans
Jonathan Cassin
Joshua Lyttle
Lina Yee
David Cooper
George Shepperdley
Heidi Berki
Ewa Milewska

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