Strategies & Actions

Climate Change Action

The City of Hamilton is on a mission to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Climate change impacts all of us. Locally the impacts of climate change not only cause millions of dollars of infrastructure damage, but damages homes, businesses, and puts people at increased risk to their health and safety.

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.   

In Hamilton, and around the globe, acting on climate change is a collective responsibility. Building on Hamilton’s history and ongoing climate change actions – on March 27, 2019, Hamilton City Council declared a climate change emergency and directed staff to form a Corporate Climate Change Task Force (CCCTF).

The City’s Corporate Climate Change Task Force (CCCTF) is made up of staff from all departments working collaboratively to identify, coordinate, and advance climate change actions and priorities across the City of Hamilton. The Task Force aims to support a culture shift ensuring that climate change is understood as a collective corporate responsibility and that a climate change lens is incorporated into routine work across all City departments.

Central to environmental sustainability and climate resiliency is changing how the City works and conduct City business, and understanding how municipal policy can have a climate positive impact on the corporation and in the community as a whole. Taking action on Climate Change requires a comprehensive, coordinated and multidisciplinary approach and includes a focus on two major streams of work:

  • climate mitigation: reduction of greenhouse gases (the cause of climate change)
  • climate adaptation: decreasing impacts and preparing for unavoidable impacts.

This will improve Hamilton’s resiliency to help Hamilton continue now, and in the future, to be the best place to raise a child and age successfully.

Hamilton Historical Climate Change Work and Milestones

Hamilton's Historical Climate Action Timeline

  • 1994 Hamilton joins FCM's Partners for Climate Change
  • 2004 Hamilton Climate Change Vulnerability Study (part of GRIDS)
  • 2008 Completes Corporate Strategic Air Quality and Climate Change Plan
  • 2009 Corporate and Community GHG Emissions Inventory: GHG Targets
  • 2010 GTA Clean Air Council Recognition of Achievement for Clean Air and Climate Change
  • 2011 City hosts Community Climate Change Town Hall and creates Hamilton Climate Change Charter
  • 2013 New GHG Targets: 20% by 2020, 50% by 2030, 80% by 2050
  • 2015 Council endorse Hamilton's Community Climate Change Action Plan; sets GHG reduction targets
  • 2016 Hamilton achieves milestone 2 of ICLEI's Building Adaptive Resilient Cities
  • 2018 Formation of Bay Area Climate Change Office and Bay Area Climate Change Council
  • 2019 Hamilton City Council Declares Climate Change Emergency (March 2019). Corporate Climate Change Task Force Report (December 2019)

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.

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.

To change the modal split and investigate strategies so that more trips are taken by active and sustainable transportation than single use occupancy vehicles.

To accelerate the uptake of modes of transportation that are low and/or zero emissions.

To ensure a climate change lens is applied to all planning initiatives to encourage the use of best climate mitigation and adaptation practices.

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.

To increase our carbon sinks and local food production through the preservation and enhancement of the natural environmental, including local farmland.

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.

To ensure all our work promotes equity, diversity, health and inclusion and improves collaboration and consultation with all marginalized groups, including local Indigenous Peoples.

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.

Hamilton’s Climate Change Actions

The are several climate change pathways the City of Hamilton is taking action on to reduce GHG emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change. To learn more see the following ongoing plans:

Related Content

Scientific evidence used to inform City work on climate change

Reports and Documents