Oakville making progress on fighting climate change


Published May 2, 2022 at 2:54 pm

A pair of reports by the Town of Oakville find it is making progress in its fight against climate change. PEXELS PHOTO

The Town of Oakville is on target to meet its 2030 interim targets in the reduction of energy use and carbon emissions.

A recent staff report said, as of 2021, the Town will not only meet but exceed its targets of a 20 per cent reduction in energy use and 30 per cent reduction in carbon emissions.

Over a 2014 baseline, the Progress Report on Reduction of Energy Use and Carbon Emissions found Oakville is currently on track to reduce energy use by 24.7 per cent and carbon use by 29.3 per cent.

That was one of two reports Oakville released showcasing the progress being made to address Town Council’s 2019 Climate Emergency Declaration.

The Town says the pandemic and rapid changes in the both the global and local climate crisis prompted an in-depth review of their efforts in 2021.

Its first report, Climate Action: Progress and Directions Report, provided a high-level overview of this assessment, along with recommendations for three initiatives to increase engagement and accountability in the town’s climate efforts.

“Together, these two reports document the strides made by the town to address the climate emergency and set the course to build on this success, be accountable and ensure Oakville is positioned to respond effectively to future challenges and opportunities,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.

“But, we can’t do this alone. Residents, businesses and all levels of government need to do their part to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

While staff continue to roll-out various climate action projects, staff will also focus on:

  • developing tools to embed climate considerations across all the town’s operations and services including climate lenses and risk and vulnerability assessments;
  • undertaking an audit and reporting program based on the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) that will be included as part of the town’s 2022 annual financial report. The TCFD is quickly becoming the gold standard in risk and financial reporting and will put Oakville at the forefront of transparency in climate reporting; and
  • completing a full review and update of the town’s Climate Strategy in 2023 that will build on these foundational pieces, and offer opportunities for community engagement.

In response to recommendations made in the Progress Report on Reduction of Energy Use and Carbon Emissions, Council approved the adoption of a Net Zero Carbon target for 2050 for all corporate activities, in alignment with the federal Pan-Canadian Framework.

All corporate reporting for carbon emissions and energy use will be adjusted to use a 2015 baseline which will set an even higher bar for reductions.

Highlights of 2021 climate action initiatives:

  • Development of two new plans to move the town’s operations to a Net Zero target in 2050: The Low Carbon Roadmap and the Renewable Energy Generation Plan
  • Construction of the Oakville Trafalgar Community Center built to LEED standards, and close to Net Zero already due to the addition of high-efficiency systems paired with renewable energy technologies such as rooftop solar panels, geo-thermal heating and cooling, and car charging stations.
  • Planting of 23,634 native trees and 4,382 native shrubs through the town’s woodland regeneration program and stewardship partnerships with the community including the installation of a new meadow at Kingsford Gardens Park to create pollinator and bird habitats.
  • Development of risk and vulnerability assessments and plans to prepare the town for potential future risks associated with the changing climate. These plans include the asset management plan, rainwater management plan, the facilities operations and management plan, among others.
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