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Will action match the words?

george longley cartoon

(Cartoon by George Longley)

In last week’s editorial, the current political buzzword of “hallway healthcare” was analyzed ad nausea.

Over the past decade, another phrase has come to the forefront of the minds of not only politicians, but billions across the world.

There is hardly a day you can scan the latest headlines and not read something about the topic of climate change.

There are those who believe we are on the brink of catastrophic weather events, and those who think we are making a big deal out of nothing.

And lastly, there are those who fall somewhere in or around the middle.

The Region of Durham has chosen to lean towards the former rather than the latter, declaring climate change an emergency situation at its latest council meeting.

This is hardly a new stance to take as the Canadian government itself made a similar proclamation last year, joining thousands of other jurisdictions across the world.

The City of Oshawa announced climate change is an emergency just a few months ago.

While the plan was overwhelmingly supported by regional councillors, it seemed the question on the mind of some members was what exactly will this cost?

To be fair, this is an absolutely logical question to ask. For the region to drastically reduce its carbon footprint, it won’t be as simple as just switching off our society’s significant dependence on fossil fuels.

Brian Kelly, the former manager of sustainability at the region, resigned last year because he felt Durham wasn’t doing enough to support its own climate actions.

As an example, Kelly correctly pointed out a massive step in the region reducing its emissions would be to switch its fleet of vehicles over to electric.

This would no doubt be a step in the right direction to address the problem, but what will be the cost to the taxpayer?

It is these types of financial requirements which have often caused climate action to become delayed and redundant before it can become reality.

It will be interesting to see, not only in Durham, if politicians are willing to, for a lack of a better term, put their money where their mouth is when it comes time to pay to fight climate change.