Green Drinks Ottawa has been meeting regularly at he Fox & Feather Pub on Elgin St for several years. The group started with only five members, but nearly ten times that many came out for the launch of Climate Action Week 2019 on Valentine’s evening. Not only
did these folks take time out of their Valentine’s Day plans to learn about what the City of Ottawa is doing to reach its GHG reduction goals, they also braved roads still swamped with heavy snow and shut down for construction to get there!
After intros from Nick Hebb and Raymonde Lemire of SmartNETAlliance, the group heard from Robb Barnes, Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. Robb gave a succinct but detailed overview of where Ottawa stands in terms of its climate change related goals, where our GHG emissions come from, and some of the complexities of looking at municipal vs community numbers. He outlines the City of Ottawa’s Energy Evolution process, currently in its second phase, and the work of the Ottawa Energy Collective Impact Group.
Questions and discussion followed. Some key issues raised included working with apartment complexes and condos, social finance models, and some of the sticking points like a shortage of the skilled tradespeople needed if building retrofits, etc. are going to be able to reach the targets the Ottawa Energy Collective Impact Group has set. Input from Kim Bouffard of the Ottawa CaGBC chapter and Janice Ashworth, Managing Director at the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op (OREC), helped clarify some of these issues. The group also learned a bit about CoEnergy, the new co-operative offering from the folks behind OREC.
There was also a run-down of the events planned for Climate Action Week 2019- and there certainly are a lot of them! Tour of green buildings, City Hall, and other energy efficient facilities, special events at the Museum of Science and Technology, the Accelerating to Zero Building Summit and Roundtable Discussion group – there’s a lot to keep anyone interested in Green Buildings busy for the next week or so in Ottawa!