Hamilton is developing a Community Energy and Emissions Plan. The Community Energy and Emissions Plan is a long-term plan to meet Hamilton’s future energy needs while improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fostering local sustainable and community-supported energy solutions. The plan includes every aspect of city-wide energy use and GHG emissions, from homes to transportation to industry to waste.
In 2019, Hamilton City Council declared a Climate Change Emergency and directed Staff to identify and investigate actions to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Community Energy and Emissions Plan is a critical component of the City’s emergency response—it sets the path for getting to net-zero by 2050. For more information on the Emergency Declaration, please see the FAQ section below.
How will our Community Energy and Emissions Plan be developed?
- Data Collection
Energy use and emissions data will be gathered from across the City.
- Establishing the Baseline & Business-as-Planned Scenario
A detailed baseline energy and emissions map of the city is developed first. Then energy and emissions are projected for the city through 2050. This is called a ‘business-as-planned’ scenario.
- Identifying Actions
Actions will be considered for modeling and inclusion in the plan. Actions could include increased energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, sustainable transportation and green building practices, among others. Public consultation will assist in identifying priority actions.
- Modeling the Future
After technical review and public engagement, a short list of low-carbon actions will be developed for future scenario modelling.
- Developing the Plan
A final scenario and its associated actions will be developed into a draft Plan. Details of how these actions should be implemented will be developed. Public engagement on the draft plan will occur.
- Final Plan
The final draft plan will be presented to City Council for approval.
Survey data was collected between June and December of 2020 to help identify the low-carbon actions that could be taken to assist the City of Hamilton in achieving its target of net-zero emissions by 2050. These surveys also told us about what is important to you when considering low-carbon actions. Review a brief summary of the survey results (PDF, 175 KB).
The feedback from the surveys helped identify and prioritize proposed low-carbon actions.
Virtual Information Meetings
Stakeholder Advisory Committee
The Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) is a non-political advisory body with a mandate to provide a forum for feedback, guidance and advice to the City Staff Project Team and Consultant Team at key points during the process of developing the Community Energy and Emissions Plan. To date, the City Staff Project Team has met twice with the Stakeholder Advisory Committee. The summary notes and presentation materials for these meetings are included below.
Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meeting - March 4, 2020
Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meeting - June 15, 2020
Documents and Reports
Staff and Related Reports
- CMO19008(a)/HSC19073(a) Staff Report
- CMO19008/HSC19073 Staff Report
Frequently asked questions
What is climate change?
Climate change refers to changes in long-term weather patterns caused by natural phenomena and human activities that alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere through the build-up of greenhouse gases which trap heat and reflect it back to the earth’s surface.
What is a greenhouse gas (GHG)?
A GHG (greenhouse gas) is any gas in the atmosphere that absorbs infrared radiation, thereby trapping and holding heat in the atmosphere. By increasing the heat in the atmosphere, GHGs lead to global warming. For more information, visit davidsuzuki.org.
What is climate change adaptation?
Adaptation to climate change refers to any action or initiative taken that can help prepare, prevent or reduce the vulnerability of social, economic, built and natural systems to the changing climate conditions.
What is climate change mitigation?
Climate change mitigation refers to the actions we can take to stabilize or reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These could include establishing policies, programs and undertaking actions that promote or require certain practices that reduce energy use and GHG emissions. Actions could include taking active or public transportation, buying an electric vehicle, building energy efficient buildings, retrofitting existing buildings, etc.
What are the main sources of GHGs in our city?
The three largest sources of emissions in Hamilton are:
- Industry at approximately 64%
- Transportation at approximately 19%
- Buildings (commercial and residential) approximately 14%
For more information please refer to the Baseline and Business-As-Planned Report under the ‘Documents’ Tab.
How have we done so far in reducing GHGs in our City?
Hamilton has been tracking community GHG emission sources since 2006. It is estimated that as of 2017 Hamilton had reduced its emissions by approximately 33% from its 2006 baseline. This however is mainly due to the provincial government decision on phasing out coal within Ontario’s electricity grid and remains the largest reduction in GHG emissions across the Province.
What is City Council’s Climate Change Emergency declaration?
City Council’s Climate Change Emergency Declaration re-affirms the City’s commitment to fighting climate change. City Council ratified the climate change emergency declaration on March 27, 2019 and directed staff to form a cross-department Corporate Climate Change Task Force and to identify and investigate actions to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Read the emergency declaration on Page 13 of the Council Minutes of March 27, 2019 - Accelerating and Prioritizing Climate Action in Response to the Climate Emergency
How does the Community Energy and Emissions Plan fit in with Hamilton’s overall climate change goals?
Hamilton is in the process of completing a climate adaptation plan, with the intent of preparing the city for future climatic events and changes. Adaptation and mitigation actions work hand in hand. The Community Energy and Emissions Plan will provide a long-term climate mitigation plan to reduce Hamilton’s GHG emissions, and as a result, reduce its contribution to global climate change.
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