We want to hear from you on the draft Burlington Climate Action Plan

Burlington Climate Action Plan cover page design

Burlington’s draft Climate Action Plan (BCAP) is now available and we want to hear from you.

Check out the plan by clicking on the links below:

Take the Climate Action Plan survey until Jan. 21, 2020 at getinvolvedburlington.ca/climate-action-plan.

Consider delegating at the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee on Jan. 13, 2020. Register at burlington.ca/delegate.

How did we get here?

On April 23, 2019, you may remember that Burlington City Council unanimously passed a motion to declare a climate emergency “for the purposes of deepening our commitment to protecting the economy, environment and community from climate change.” They also directed staff to “bring back the Burlington Climate Action Plan to Council no later than December 2019 for approval.”

Then, on June 17, 2019 Council endorsed a Climate Action Update Report to:

  • Respond to the Council directions included in the Climate Emergency Declaration; and
  • Give an update on what the City is doing to address climate change.

Why have a Climate Action Plan?

We need to stop relying on fossil fuels. The Burlington Climate Action Plan shows a path to move the community away from fossil fuel use and reach the target in Burlington’s Strategic Plan 2015-2040 “to work towards the goal of the Burlington community being net carbon-neutral.” We are recommending the target date of 2050 in the new action plan.

How did we develop the plan?

We asked you and used community consultation to get your input on key actions being proposed in the plan to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Engagement activities took place between August and October and included:

  • pop-up engagements at local events,
  • an online survey,
  • in-person workshops with stakeholders and members of the public, and
  • a drop-in open house.

What are some highlights of the plan?

The program areas being recommended will help the community reach the goal of being net carbon neutral.

Generally speaking, to become net carbon neutral, we will need to:

  • Minimize energy use,
  • Switch to cleaner fuels,
  • Generate renewable energy, and
  • Purchase renewable energy credits and carbon credits.

In Burlington, key program areas to reduce our use of fossil fuels in the community, also known as mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, include:

  • Low carbon building guidelines (for new buildings)
  • Deep home energy retrofit program (for existing buildings)
  • Renewable energy cooperative
  • Integrated mobility
  • Electric mobility and equipment
  • Waste
  • Industrial processes

The diagram below shows the City of Burlington’s carbon budget with a goal to bring us close to net carbon neutrality by 2050. The larger the wedge, the greater the impact in reducing our carbon emissions. Since Burlington’s emissions are mostly related to vehicles and buildings, tackling these areas for carbon reductions will have the greatest impact.

Graphic image showing emission reductions by action from 2016 baseline projected to 2050 for the City of Burlington.
Emission reductions by action from 2016 baseline projected to 2050 for the City of Burlington. Image created by Sustainability Solutions Group.

What’s next?

We want to hear from you:

We will be presenting the final plan to the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee on March 9, 2020. You can attend this meeting and delegate. Register at burlington.ca/delegate.

Part 2 of the Burlington Climate Action Plan about adaptation to climate change will be presented to City Council in 2021.

Take Action Burlington! We all have an important role to play in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Collectively we can make a difference!

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