The City of Burlington is excited to join the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM). This coalition of city leaders around the world are tackling climate change by pledging to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (mitigation) and preparing for the future impacts of climate change (adaptation).
Burlington is also one of 25 Canadian cities selected to participate in the Showcase Cities pilot program under GCoM. This one-year project will offer technical support, training, networking opportunities and access to tools and resources.
Why focus on local governments?
Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change influencing half of Canada’s GHG emissions. They are also the ones dealing with its local impacts including increased flooding, heat waves, invasive species, etc.
What is the Global Covenant of Mayors?
GCoM Canada and the Showcase Cities project is a collaboration among the:
- Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM),
- ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability,
- Global Covenant of Mayors Secretariat, and
- International Urban Cooperation Project (IUC) supported by funding from the European Union.
This initiative combines two leading Canadian climate programs:
- Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program, and
- Building Adaptive and Resilient Communities (BARC).
What is Burlington doing for climate action?
Burlington has been a member of the PCP program since 2002, a national program that provides guidance to municipalities to reduce corporate and community greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2017, the City of Burlington achieved all five milestones in the PCP program:
- Create a baseline emissions inventory and forecast,
- Set emissions reduction targets,
- Develop a local action plan,
- Implement the local action plan, and
- Monitor progress and report results.
Burlington is in a good position to participate in the Showcase Cities pilot program:
- Burlington City Council declared a climate emergency and directed staff to complete a Climate Action Plan and apply a climate lens to decision making;
- Part 1 of the draft Climate Action Plan, focused on mitigation, was released at the Dec. 2 Committee of the Whole meeting and is currently available for comment at getinvolvedburlington.ca/climate-action-plan. The final Climate Action Plan will be presented at the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee meeting on March 9, 2020.
- Part 2 of the Climate Action Plan on adaptation will be finalized in 2021;
- Council’s workplan From Vision to Focus supports the Strategic Plan targets for city operations to be net carbon neutral by 2040 and to work towards being a net carbon neutral community;
- The City has experience implementing the Community Energy Plan with effective community stakeholder relationships;
- City Council approved an updated Corporate Energy & Emissions Management Plan with a path for city operations to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2040;
- Staff are actively involved in partnerships with the Bay Area Climate Change Office/Council and the Halton Climate Collective; and,
- The City is actively involved in implementing measures to improve the resiliency of city operations and the community, particularly following 2014 Burlington flood.
Taking part in the Showcase Cities Pilot Project is a natural progression of the City’s actions and commitment to taking action on climate change. If we all take action, collectively we will make a difference!
About the Global Covenant of Mayors Canada partners
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is the national voice of municipal governments, with nearly 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of the Canadian population.
ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability is an international association of local governments committed to sustainability.
The International Urban Cooperation (IUC) Programme is part of a long-term strategy by the European Union to foster sustainable urban development in cooperation with both the public and private sectors.
The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) is the largest global alliance for climate leadership, uniting a global coalition of nearly 10,000 cities and local governments. By 2030, GCoM cities and local governments could collectively reduce 1.3 billion tons of CO2 emissions per year. That’s the equivalent of taking 276 million cars off the road.