Waterloo and Cambridge have partnered with two local environmental non-profit organizations, REEP Green Solutions and Sustainable Waterloo Region to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Waterloo Region. Moving forward, ClimateActionWR hopes to work with community organizations and municipalities to compartmentalize greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to successfully reduce them.
The initiative, which is a first for the region and nation, includes the collaboration of four municipalities accompanied by local organizations and community members. Waterloo Region should be commended for collectively addressing a collective problem. Municipalities are being given the ability to provide input and set goals based on the needs and desires of their communities, which will allow for more incentive for community involvement and better results.
Compartmentalizing the sources of greenhouse gas emissions is an obvious and important step that is too rarely made by regions. Understanding where emissions come from is critical for setting realistic emission reduction goals. It is refreshing to see parties in the region coming together to commit to a common cause that we all want to see addressed.
Often, we blame the government for inaction and an inability to come together. However, now that the government has done its part, it is up to the public to provide input to community organizations and municipal governments and make environmentally conscious decisions in their own lives.
The initiative provides a framework but will be insufficient without the pubic getting on board. By setting an example and making it clear that collective initiatives rooted in cooperation and communication can exist, hopefully other regions in Canada will adopt similar programs to reduce emissions. If the people of Waterloo Region fail to make the individual changes necessary to reduce greenhouse emissions now that the framework is in place, the government cannot be blamed.