Climate Emergency Declaration

On Monday December 21, the darkest day of 2020, Muskoka District Council brought light, hope, and the best Christmas present ever to the people of Muskoka, unanimously passing A New Leaf: Muskoka’s Climate Strategy to address the Climate Crisis, with a goal of ensuring a safe, just and healthy future. Read our media release – here

April 20, 2021 – Gravenhurst has become the first Town in Muskoka to unanimously declare a Climate Emergency and to align its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals with the District of Muskoka’s targets – a significant event in Earth Week, 2021.
Read our media release – here
Read the resolution, including two additional points 9 and 10, as it was passed – here

June 28, 2021 – The Town of Huntsville unanimously passed a resolution to declare a Climate Emergency with the same strong targets as the District and Town of Gravenhurst resolutions.

July 8, 2021 – This week Lake of Bays and Bracebridge became the fourth and fifth Muskoka municipalities to declare a Climate Emergency. Township of Muskoka Lakes ???

Declaration of Climate Emergency Resolution, developed by members of Climate Action Muskoka for municipalities and townships in the District of Muskoka.

WHEREAS the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2018 Report ‘Global Warming of 1.5C’ 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 10 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, including the Township of Georgian Bay and the District of Muskoka; 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 greenhouse gas (GHG) 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;

WHEREAS the District of Muskoka has declared a Climate Emergency and adopted the goal of GHG emissions reductions of 50% by 2030, reaching zero by 2050;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT (insert township/municipality here) officially

  1. Declare a Climate Emergency immediately and join other municipalities to name and deepen the (Insert township’s/municipality’s) commitment to protecting our economy, our community, and our ecosystems from the impacts of climate heating; and
  2. Develop a Climate Action Plan (CAP) to reduce corporate and community greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).  The CAP would include: identification of firm, ambitious targets to reach the goal of greater than 50% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030 and achieving 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 Climate Working Group, which will provide input to the township/municipal CAP and will assist in the regular review and updating of the CAP as the science evolves.  The Community Climate Working Group should be representative of the diversity of the community in (insert name of the township/municipality) and include at least one councillor who will act as a liason with the Council; and
  4. Collaborate with the District of Muskoka, other municipal governments, institutions, industry associations, and the community 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 2021 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 wellbeing and 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 the resolution to the Premier of Ontario, the Ontario Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Parry Sound Muskoka representatives Hon. Norm Miller MPP and Hon. Scott Aitchison MP, and the leaders of the other political parties.

Find the original Declaration –here

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 Thank you for your interest and support.