Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

BRACEBRIDGE — Muskoka climate advocates are calling on the District of Muskoka to declare a climate emergency.

Armed with an impressive list of supporters — including dozens of business, groups, organizations and more than 100 people — they will be on hand virtually tonight to press a case they’ve been promoting since last year.

Last week Climate Action Muskoka (CAM) launched its ‘50% by 2030 Community Carbon Challenge.’

Individuals, families, businesses, organizations and schools can take the pledge and develop an action plan to reduce their own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 8% a year until the year 2030.

They add the challenge can be taken up by seasonal and year-round residents alike.

“We must act where we can have direct influence, in our own community,” says CAM member Linda Mathers. “COVID has taught us that collective behaviour matters, that we need to take the science seriously and that we need to act now.”

The campaign’s goal is to ask the district to pass a climate emergency resolution.

You can sign up on the climateactionmuskoka.org website.

There you will find a user-friendly carbon calculator that has been designed for Muskoka by climate change and energy specialist Ben John of the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve (GBBR).

The calculator will help assess your building, transportation and solid waste emissions and compare your totals with others in Ontario and Canada. Redoing the tracker annually will allow you to measure your success with reducing emissions.

An added bonus is that your anonymous data will be added to the community GHG inventory currently being conducted by the district, under the guidance of Kevin Boyle, the climate change initiatives co-ordinator.

The site allows you — if prefer not to do the calculator right now — to jump straight to the sections offering practical ideas for you to implement.

“We believe community engagement is vital to solving the climate crisis,” says Mathers. “We also believe that it is better to take ‘imperfect action rather than perfect inaction.’”

On the website you can also add to the list of things people can do to reduce our carbon footprint. New strategies will be added regularly “as we grow our commitment to changing our behaviours in carbon reducing ways.”

CAM is an inclusive, non-partisan group of citizens concerned about climate change in Muskoka who believe in working together to inspire individuals, groups, and every level of government to make the dramatic changes needed to meet this historic climate challenge.

CAM believes “it takes a village” and in this spirit they invite you to join them in the 50% by 2030 Community Carbon Challenge.

Their challenge can be found at their website climateactionmuskoka@gmail.com.

An impressive list of local supporters have taken up the 50% Community Carbon Challenge to go along with a call for Muskoka to declare a climate emergency.

Email mark@muskokatoday.com

Or news@muskokatoday.com

Celebrating 25 YEARS of ‘Local Online Journalism’

Follow us at Twitter @muskokatodaily

And on Facebook at mclairmont1

Leave your comments at end of story.

Letter to the Editor: news@muskokatoday.com

Subscribe for $25 at https://muskokatoday.com/subscriptions