THUNDER BAY — By the year 2050, EarthCare Thunder Bay hopes the city can reduce its energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to become carbon neutral.
That's the ultimate goal of the Community Energy and Emissions Plan which is just entering the development stage.
Consultations will launch on Thursday, Jan. 9 with an event at Magnus Theatre.
With funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Ontario government, the city has hired Sustainability Solutions Group as the lead consultant on the project.
Industrial operations, other big energy consumers, businesses and residents are all expected to participate.
The study will look at emissions from all sources, and produce what the project lead–city Sustainability Coordinator Amy Coomes–has described as "kind of a map where the users are, and figure out how we can work together as a community to reduce greenhouse gases."
The city's Sustainability Plan for 2014-2020 established a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 20 per cent below 2009 levels by this year, but the most recent statistics showed the city was well short of that goal.
The Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay had better success, achieving a 26 per cent decrease in GHG emissions from corporate activities and operations by 2018. However, emissions from municipal operations only account for about two per cent of all GHG emissions in the city.
A new community inventory will be compiled as part of the planning process.
At the Magnus event on Thursday, between 6:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., EarthCare Thunder Bay will host a screening of the award-winning climate change documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch.
Seats can be reserved online at earthcare-anthropocene.eventbrite.ca.
The city is also starting an online survey (www.thunderbay.ca/GetInvolved) to give residents a chance to express concerns related to the new energy and emissions plan.