City of Burlington working on plan to adapt to warmer, wetter and wilder climate

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Published August 27, 2021 at 12:53 pm

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The City of Burlington is taking on climate change and it is developing a plan to adapt to the severity of the changing weather conditions.

After a climate projections report presented earlier this year to City Council by the City’s sustainability staff, based on scientific data, concluded that we can expect local conditions to be warmer, wetter and wilder, the city is ready top step up its game.

In response, the City is developing Climate Resilient Burlington – A Plan for Adapting to Our Warmer, Wetter and Wilder Weather.

Two years ago City Council, recognizing the severity of climate change and its possible impact, declared a climate emergency and last year later approved a Climate Action Plan that would make the community carbon zero by 2050.

The City of Burlington is taking action to achieve this goal in collaboration with local, regional and national stakeholders.

It will be reporting on its climate action through the Global Covenant of Mayors for Energy and Environment, which is supported in Canada by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a global disclosure system for businesses and governments to help manage environmental impacts.

“Climate change is not just about City Hall so the challenge is how can we support all members of the community to reduce their carbon footprint in their homes and how they get around the community, ” said Lynn Robichaud, Manager, Environmental Sustainability.

“And just as important, Climate Resilient Burlington will help us to address how to prepare for the impacts of our changing climate by managing and reducing risk particularly for those most vulnerable in our community.”

The City of Burlington also recently joined Race to Zero, a United Nations (UN) backed global campaign rallying companies, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030, demonstrating momentum at the upcoming UN global climate conference later this year in Glasgow.

All members are committed to the same overarching goal: reducing greenhouse gas emissions across all scopes swiftly and fairly in line with the Paris Agreement, with transparent action plans and robust near-term targets.

Locally, the City is also working with the Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk College to develop a home energy retrofit program which will include developing a business plan for a delivery centre, assessing financing options for homeowners, and providing information sessions for homeowners.

Funding to support this project was recently approved by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities through its Community Efficiency Initiative program.

A homeowner survey will be launched this fall to support this work and an educational webinar is being scheduled for mid-October for homeowners to learn about measures they can take to improve energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint.

Other related climate actions to reduce the carbon footprint of the community include the work being done through the Integrated Mobility Plan to support sustainable transportation options, the development of an Electric Mobility Strategy in partnership with BurlingtonGreen, expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure and developing a plan for additional solar installations on city property.

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