Declaration of Climate Emergency Resolution

We have composed the following resolution to declare a climate emergency, to be presented to councils throughout our region. We are looking for community groups, organizations, business and leaders in our communities to endorse our resolution. Scroll to the bottom to endorse the resolution.


Declaration of Climate Emergency Resolution

Developed by members of Climate Action Muskoka

February 19, 2020 

WHEREAS the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report ‘Global Warming of 1.5 °C’ states the urgency of keeping global heating below the 1.5C goal and also acknowledges that the world is currently on track for more than 3C increase in temperature rise based on policies that are now in place; and

WHEREAS this current track of climate heating will lead to catastrophic social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts in our community and elsewhere and that the IPCC estimates less than 11 years to avoid the worst impacts of climate change; and 

WHEREAS many municipalities across Ontario and Canada understand the major benefits of and the need to be at the forefront of action on climate change, with many having declared a climate emergency already; and 

WHEREAS much of the financial damage associated with climate change will come from impacts to municipal core infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water, wastewater and storm water systems and from destruction of natural infrastructure; and 

WHEREAS it is necessary not only to reduce carbon emissions, but also to increase community resiliency in the face of climate change, and that these approaches can offer multiple benefits including improved health and air quality, increased innovation, economic development and reduced costs in the long run; and 

WHEREAS many people in Muskoka have demonstrated a strong interest and commitment to address climate change and continue to make Muskoka a leader in environmental action and protection; 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the District of Muskoka officially 

  1. Declare a Climate Emergency immediately to name and deepen the District’s commitment to protecting our economy, our community, and our eco systems from the impacts of climate heating; and 
  2. Develop a Climate Action Plan (CAP) to reduce corporate and community greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), which includes the identification of firm, ambitious targets with a goal of greater than 50% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030 and reaching zero GHG emissions by 2050; commit to becoming a drawdown/regenerative community, taking an active role in the repair and regeneration of our systems, including in the areas of the built environment, natural infrastructure, land use, transportation, energy, waste, health, and food security; and
  3. Support and participate in the establishment of a Community Working Group, which will provide input to the CAP and will assist in the regular review and updating of the CAP as the science evolves. The Community Working Group should be diverse and representative of the Muskoka community; be balanced according to gender, age, ethnic background, geography, economic status; seek out participation and direction from Indigenous leaders and teachers; and include scientists and other key stakeholders; and
  4. Collaborate with other municipal governments, institutions and industry associations to improve standards and protocols that can positively address climate adaptation and mitigation; and
  5. Seek and secure funding opportunities from both internal and external sources for 2020 and beyond to adequately finance climate actions necessary to meet 2030 and 2050 emission reduction targets; and
  6. Commit to putting climate action at the forefront of all decision-making, large and small, working to achieve community resiliency, equity, reconciliation, and leaving no one behind. Require all future reports to council to include a section titled Climate Change Implications that will identify how the recommendations will contribute to meeting the objectives of the CAP; and
  7. Work with other community stakeholders to educate the public at large about steps that can be taken by individuals and businesses to reduce GHGs; and
  8. Urge both Provincial and Federal governments and opposition parties to work rapidly to deliver the GHG emission reductions needed to keep global heating below the 1.5C goal to minimize the life-threatening impacts of climate change. Forward a copy of the resolution to the Premier of Ontario, the Ontario Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, and Parry Sound Muskoka representatives Hon. Norm Miller MPP, and Hon. Scott Aitchison MP.

View the Endorsement Page

Find out who is endorsing this resolution and how you can add your name to the list. (Links to endorse the resolution are also at the bottom of the endorsement page.)

Add Your Name to the Endorsement List

We invite everyone in Muskoka — individuals (including seasonal residents and cottagers), groups and businesses — to endorse this resolution. Click the links below to fill out a short form confirming your endorsement or your group or business’ endorsement. Thank you.

Individual Endorsement

Group or Business Endorsement

Questions? Email us at climateactionmuskoka@gmail.com. Thank you for your interest and support.