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Citizens of Toronto to be Paid For Reducing Carbon Emissions - Articles Surfing
Thanks to a new scheme called 'Live Green Toronto', Citizens in the Canadian city can now apply for subsidies if they take part in environmental initiatives designed to reduce the city's overall carbon emissions.
On the official website, David Miller, City Mayor, outlines the thinking behind the scheme:
"Living green. Here in Toronto, it's more than a trend; it's becoming a way of life...
...As you may have heard, Toronto has targeted an 80% reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It's an ambitious target, and we're rising to the challenge. To reach our target we not only need to take big, bold steps as a local government, we also need every resident of Toronto to take action in their home and in their neighbourhood.
The Live Green Toronto program is designed to inspire and support every resident who wants to do something right now to make Toronto an even greener city."
It is reported that an estimated $20 million is available for the project over the next five years.
The system for the subsidies and grants themselves will be awarded according to what initiatives Toronto's citizen's put across; in other words, the impetus is on the public to think of ways to cut their own emissions - and the emissions of those around them - in order to become eligible for the grants, which will act almost as rewards for their efforts.
Any potential projects will be moderated by 'Community Animators', who will work with city officials, but will not technically be civil servants. They will work with the public to help improve on their original plans, and will award initial payments of between $1000 and $25,000 for each accepted idea. The cost is proportional to the size and impact of the project.
Once ideas are accepted, their inventors can apply for full grants to have the systems implemented. These begin at $25,000, and rise to $250,000.
Plans have already been accepted for a city-wide plantation of neighbourhood trees, and a solar heated water system.
The 'Live Green Toronto' program is certainly a refreshing approach to climate control. With its impetus on the city's citizens, it is looking to develop a sustainable future in the only place where it can be truly sustained: the general public. With ordinary people on board, the city of Toronto will find it easier than most to make the complicated switch to renewable and sustainable energy.
Indeed the city's officials recognise that encouragement is the key to success, and each year announce the 'Green Toronto Awards'; a recognition of the work performed each year by citizens and companies based in the city.
With it's catchy slogan, "Winter, spring, summer, fall...Who's the greenest of them all? You tell us!", the competition can now work with the 'Live Green Toronto' program to in the first instance encourage eco-friendliness, but on the second count, reward it. Because the city officials know that - for such a public led system to work - it has to keep up a continual enthusiasm for the project.
And City Mayor David Miller is keen to see the project copied in city's and towns across the globe. If it succeeds, perhaps it will. If it does, it could mark a bold new step in the relationship between people and their governments when it comes to tackling global warming.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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