The City of Hamilton is on a mission to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change.
On March 27, 2019 Hamilton City Council declared a Climate Change Emergency.
Locally climate change is seen in:
- the increased frequency and severity of heat waves causing drought
- the increased severity and frequency of storms, heavy precipitation leading to flooding, shoreline and escarpment erosion
These negative effects will worsen as the level of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere continues to rise. Just as the City is taking action, it is critical that everyone who lives, works, plays and learns in Hamilton makes changes to reduce their carbon footprint at home, at work, and in their everyday lives.
Hamilton’s Climate Action Strategy
Hamilton’s Climate Action Strategy is the City’s next evolution in the response to the Climate Change Emergency Declaration. There are several actions the City, and broader community, continue to undertake to accelerate Hamilton’s transition to a prosperous, equitable, resilient post-carbon City.
Central to environmental sustainability and climate resiliency is changing how the City works and advancing municipal climate policy to make a positive difference on the organization and the community. Hamilton’s Climate Action Strategy advances the City’s response to the Climate Change Emergency Declaration and consists of two major steams:
- climate mitigation: reduction of greenhouse gases (the cause of climate change)
- climate adaptation: decreasing impacts and preparing for unavoidable impacts of a changing climate
Part 1: ReCharge Hamilton - Our Community Energy + Emissions Plan
Part 2: Hamilton’s Climate Change Impact Adaptation Plan
City of Hamilton’s Corporate Climate Change Goals
The Corporate Climate Change Task Force (CCCTF) mandate is to collect, coordinate and advocate for corporate-wide climate change action and to centralize climate change reporting on a semi-annual basis. Working on these nine (9) overarching goals and areas of focus for both climate mitigation and adaptation is the start of Hamilton’s corporate-wide approach to taking accelerated climate change action to reduce GHG emissions. These goals and areas of focus were developed using recent scientific evidence and research including technical low carbon scenario modelling completed by Sustainability Solutions Group (SSG) and whatIf? Technologies.
Goal 1 Buildings
To increase the number of new and existing high performance state-of-the-art buildings that improve energy efficiency and adapt to a changing climate.
Goal 2 Active and Sustainable Travel
To change the modal split and investigate strategies so that more trips are taken by active and sustainable transportation than single use occupancy vehicles.
Goal 3 Transportation
To accelerate the uptake of modes of transportation that are low and/or zero emissions.
Goal 4 Planning
To ensure a climate change lens is applied to all planning initiatives to encourage the use of best climate mitigation and adaptation practices.
Goal 5 Procurement
To procures goods, services and construction from vendors who conduct their business in a sustainable and ethical manner that considers equity, diversity and inclusion that contributes to the greater good of the community.
Goal 6 Protect and Restore the Natural Environment
To increase our carbon sinks and local food production through the preservation and enhancement of the natural environmental, including local farmland.
Goal 7 Climate Adaptation
To improve Hamilton’s climate resiliency by decreasing our vulnerability to extreme weather, minimizing future damages, take advantage of opportunities, and better recover from future damages.
Goal 8 Diversity, Health and Inclusion
To ensure all our work promotes equity, diversity, health and inclusion and improves collaboration and consultation with all marginalized groups, including local Indigenous Peoples.
Goal 9 Education and Awareness
To increase the knowledge and empower City staff and the Hamilton community including business, NGO’s and individual citizens while advocating to higher levels of government to take action on climate change.
Investments and Progress
Since the Climate Emergency Declaration in 2019 the City of Hamilton has:
- invested $57.3M into climate positive actions including bicycle infrastructure, parks and tree planting, electrification of vehicles and equipment, and improved stormwater infrastructure
- Approval of a $2.5M budget for the implementation of Hamilton’s Green Fleet Strategy and the conversion of 89 internal combustion city vehicles to battery all-electric
- Established $1.5M Climate Change Reserve and policy for funding for innovative climate actions with a focus on improving the lives of equity-seeking groups
- Updating the City’s Corporate Energy and Sustainability Policy to align corporate Greenhouse Gas (GHG) targets with net zero by 2050 and guide the City’s corporate sustainability actions
- Piloting Ontario’s first ever Carbon Negative Bus
- Hamilton’s Urban Forest Strategy
- Hamilton’s Transportation Master Plan
- Bay Area Climate Change Office
- Hamilton’s Corporate Energy Policy and GHG Emissions Inventory
- Sustainable Hamilton Burlington Building Energy And Emissions Profile
- Hamilton’s Flood Preparedness
- Hamilton’s Low Impact Development - Stormwater
- Hamilton’s Stormwater Management Ponds
Scientific evidence used to inform City work on climate change
- Hamilton’s 2019 Annual Corporate Energy Report
- Hamilton and Burlington Low-Carbon Scenario and Technical Report 2016 - 2050
- Taking Action on Climate Change in Hamilton – A Community Plan
- The Science of Climate Change: Climate Data for the City of Hamilton
Reports and Documents
- June 1, 2022 - Hamilton's Climate Change Action Strategy (PED22058/HSC22030)
- December 8, 2021 - Hamilton’s Corporate-Wide Climate Change Update 2021
- November 4, 2020 - City of Hamilton Updated Timelines, SMART Corporate Goals and Areas of Focus for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
- December 4, 2019 - City of Hamilton Corporate Goals and Areas of Focus for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
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