Port Hope examines climate change at public event

By Cecilia Nasmith

The Municipality of Port Hope is hosting a public event Oct. 8 as part of its multi-pronged initiative to develop and implement a comprehensive Climate Action Plan geared to local challenges and opportunities.

Climate Change in Port Hope: Realities, Resources, Remedies runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Trinity College School (in the Davies Student Centre, accessed by Rose Glen Road) – a free event focusing on education and engagement.

The event is organized by the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Sustainability working group established by Port Hope council. The group is collaborating with McMaster University's W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology on this event – and on other key components of the Climate Action Plan.

Robert Sculthorpe, the acting chair of the working group, said the aim of this event is to provide insights and information in the context of a changing climate that may better enable the municipality (and its residents and businesses) to leverage McMaster's global reputation in the growing field of sustainable development.

The Oct. 8 program will open with an address by McMaster Professor Dr. Gail Krantzberg. She will draw on her extensive experience helping American and Canadian Great Lakes communities respond to the environmental, social and economic threats that stem from a warming planet.

Dr. Krantzberg's pragmatic talk will zero in on climate-related topics of interest to local audiences, including flooding, infrastructure renewal and land-use planning, regeneration of contaminated properties, innovative agricultural practices, tools for public engagement, and tools to help unlock additional support from senior levels of government.

This will set the stage for a panel discussion intended to dig deeper into local issues to identify potential mitigating actions that can be taken at every level. Panel members will include local and regional stakeholders with their own perspectives on the shared challenge of climate change.

The program will conclude with an interactive conversation on local needs and capacities, a well a priorities for provincial and Federal engagement.

In the town's press release, the professor complimented the municipality's leadership on climate action and environmental sustainability.

It's a privilege for McMaster's W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology to be Port Hope's partner in advancing their long-term strategy to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and become more resilient to the effects of climate change,” she stated.

“My colleagues and our students are excited to help Port Hope become a blueprint for other communities on the shores of our Great Lakes.”

Outputs from this event will feed into several subsequent Port Hope activities organized by the local working group in collaboration with the university, including a community workshop, an event with municipal leaders and staff, and a report that will help inform the Climate Action Plan

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