A brief history of the CEI
A track record of environmental leadership
The Community Energy Initiative can trace its roots as far back as 1994 with the creation of the City of Guelph Green Plan. This document prompted a number of sustainability initiatives, including the creation of Guelph Environmental Leadership (now eMerge Guelph) and the issuance of State of Sustainability Reports in 1998 and 2003. The plan addressed the broader topic of sustainability, with energy being only one component.
It was recognized that the single most significant threat to the natural environment is climate change. It was further recognized that the only way to avert catastrophic climate change is through mitigation – reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to levels that can be absorbed by the planet’s natural processes. The most significant source of GHG emissions is the use of fossil fuels for energy, so changing the way we use energy offers the greatest promise for mitigating climate change.
Many people are concerned about the natural environment, but far more - indeed, nearly all of us – are focused on the economy and its impact on personal finances. For community energy planning to succeed, it must focus on making a positive impact on the local economy, enhancing prosperity, bringing employment opportunities, and increasing job security.
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The preparation of this plan was carried out with assistance from the Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Notwithstanding this support, the views expressed are the personal views of the authors, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Government of Canada accept no responsibility for them.