Sharing our climate action progress with the world

The City of Burlington recently received an overall ‘B’ rating from the Climate Disclosure Project (CDP) for our climate reporting in 2021. CDP is a non-profit charity providing a global climate action reporting platform for businesses and all levels of government.

You might be thinking…. ‘Ok, you got a B, but why didn’t you get an A?’ (Flashbacks to sharing my report card with my parents!)

This is our first year that we have reported through the CDP on our climate actions, including information related to the Climate Action Plan, the community emissions inventory and carbon reduction target. We knew beforehand that we couldn’t achieve top marks from CDP as we are still developing our climate adaptation plan. 

Climate Resilient Burlington: A Plan for Adapting to Our Warmer, Wetter and Wilder Weather is well under way in collaboration with a number of staff and community stakeholders and agencies. We expect that this will help boost our overall rating next year. And we’re not starting from scratch as we are already involved in a number of initiatives to prepare for climate change. However, Climate Resilient Burlington provides an opportunity to complete a comprehensive assessment of our risks and vulnerabilities to climate change, recognize those existing programs, plans and strategies, and identify gaps and priority actions. Earlier this year, staff presented a Climate Projections report for Burlington to City Council illustrating how we can expect to be impacted by a changing climate.

Reporting through the CDP platform also helps us meet the reporting requirements for the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM), the largest global alliance for city climate leadership across the globe. The City joined GCoM in 2020 and was one of 25 Canadian municipalities to participate in Showcase Cities, a program hosted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Partners for Climate Protection program and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. The program was designed to support municipalities in their actions to meet the requirements of GCoM. 

Reporting through these global platforms enables the City to show leadership and share best practices as well as learn from the experiences of other jurisdictions. Cities are on the frontlines of being impacted by climate change and in taking action.

Did you know:

  • Burlington City Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and directed staff to apply a climate lens to operations, plans and strategies, including the budget.
  • In 2019, Burlington City Council approved the Corporate Energy and Emissions Management Plan to provide a pathway for City operations to become net carbon neutral by 2040.
  • In 2020, Burlington City Council approved the Climate Action Plan and set a target to become a net carbon neutral community by 2050.
  • A number of actions related to the Climate Action Plan are underway including the development of a Home Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program (HERO); the review and update of the Sustainable Building and Development Guidelines; and the development of the Integrated Mobility Plan.
  • Staff were successful in securing $100,000 from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Community Efficiency Financing program to support the feasibility study for a Home Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program. 
  • A funding application has also been submitted to the provincial Ministry of Energy to support the development of a community based Electric Mobility Strategy in partnership with BurlingtonGreen.
  • Staff are also working with McMaster University on a student research project looking at community best practices to support the implementation of renewable energy.
  • In 2021, prior to COP26 in Glasgow, the City signed on to participate in the Race to Reduce recognizing the City’s target to become a net carbon zero community by 2050. 

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