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Fighting climate change in Quinte

Dr. Aruna Alexander (left), fouding president of the United Nation Association in Canada Quinte Branch and Quinte Conservation hydrogeologist Mark Boone next to a miniature Eiffel Tower at the Bellevlle climate conference. The conference was inspired by the U.N. climate change talks in Paris. Photo by Joseph Quigley, QNet News [1]

Aruna Alexander (left), founding president of the United Nation Association in Canada, Quinte branch, and Quinte Conservation hydrogeologist Mark Boone next to a miniature Eiffel Tower at the Belleville climate conference. The conference was inspired by the U.N. climate change talks in Paris. Photo by Joseph Quigley, QNet News

By Joseph Quigley [2]

BELLEVILLE – Belleville took on the spirit of the Paris climate change conference [3] Wednesday with the Quinte region’s own version of the event.

People gathered at the Belleville Public Library [4] for a presentation on climate change, the solutions to it and the effect it has locally.

The event was hosted by Quinte Conservation [5] and the United Nations Association in Canada [6], Quinte branch.

Aruna Alexander, founding president of the branch, said her organization wanted to localize the global issue.

“As a Untied Nations association, we connected with the global conference in Paris and thought it would be a great idea for our local Quinte Conservation to make a presentation parallel to (it),” said Alexander.

Mark Boone, a hydrogeologist with Quinte Conservation, delivered the main presentation at the event. He detailed what climate change was, how it has increased temperatures in the Quinte region by 1.5 degrees Celsius and how Quinte Conservation is monitoring its effects.

A graph of the Quinte region's average temperature over the past 50 years. Mark Boone said that the average temperatue in the region has raise 1.5 degrees Celsius over that time. Photo by Joseph Quigley, QNet News [7]

A graph of Belleville’s average temperature over the past 50 years, part of a presentation on climate change. The blue points are yearly temperatures and the red line represents an average increase over time. Mark Boone said the average temperature in the city has increased by 1.5 degrees Celsius. Photo by Joseph Quigley, QNet News

In an interview with QNet News, Boone said every person and municipality has a role to play in combating climate change.

“It’s a problem that requires everybody regardless of how small or who they are,” he said. “Everybody has to take part to fight climate change. It’s not something that just one organization or one person can do. It takes collaborative effort of everybody. Small or large, everybody can do their part.”

Several audience members said they were enthusiastic about the presentation.

“I think it’s good to see what the local implications of warming are going to be,” said Frank Hiebert, a retired Belleville native. “It was paralleling the conference in Paris so I thought it was appropriate.”

Mary Milne, also retired, said the presentation was well explained.

“I think it’s very important we be aware of what’s happening with our water and air and how they’re affected by climate change,” said Milne. “I think (the presentation) was excellent. For someone who’s not a technical expert, it put (the information) in fairly straightforward terms (so) that we can understand what’s happening.”

The global climate change conference in Paris ends Friday, with negotiators from around the world still trying to finalize a new climate change agreement.

Alexander said she’s eager to find out how the conference will impact Canadian environmental policy.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how everything will be implemented,” she said. “I’m sure all Canadians are looking forward to seeing what the result will be.”

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