Staff present Climate Action Plan - delegations would like to see it move along more quickly

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

March 10th, 2020



Start with a 91 page report, then look at the delegation list – 17 people who will have 10 minutes each to speak and whatever time members of Council need to ask questions and you know you are in for a long evening.

Standing Committee meetings start at 6:30 pm – do the math.


The 2013 ice storm ,,,

This is going to be a three part feature. The first will be an overview of what the city is setting out to do and then we delve into the Climate Action Report (CAP), which in itself is a very thorough document. It needs some explaining: it is a very important document.

Flood Fairview plaza

The 2014 flood

The third section will be excerpts from the 17 people who delegated – the meeting went right up to the time limit – two of the delegations had to return.

City council took the bold step of declaring a climate Emergency several months ago.

They then asked staff to prepare a Climate Action Plan.

The public got to see that plan and comment on it – which they certainly did.

The annual CleanUp-GreenUp campaign Burlington Green organizwes ends with a gathering of the environmental clan at city hall. One of these years it isn't going to rain on the CleanUp-GreenUp day.

Lynne Robichaud, presented the Climate Action Plan to a standing Committee on Monday.

The development of the Climate Action Plan began in the summer of 2019 with a public engagement process that culminated with a report presented to the Committee of the Whole on December 2nd, 2019. The draft plan was tabled to allow for public review of the document.

Given that council and the public had limited time to review the plan before the December 2ndCOW meeting, the plan was also included on the January 9th Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services Committee agenda to allow for delegations to speak. The plan was made available for public review during December and January.

The City has a goal for its operations to become net carbon neutral by 2040 and is working to become a net carbon-neutral community. A low-carbon future for Burlington requires changes across all aspects of the community, including new and existing buildings, transportation, industry, and waste management.

In order to model these changes, a catalogue of actions was developed, based on the research of best practices of municipal actions. This catalogue was reviewed with city staff and additional refinement and analysis was undertaken to develop a list of actions.
In total, 21 actions were identified for Burlington. Stakeholder and community engagement completed to date has focused on the program areas and related actions.

An interim carbon reduction target has been established in the plan where emissions will be reduced by 50% below 2016 levels by 2030. It is recommended that council also endorse the interim target.

A longer-term target is also confirmed for Burlington to become a net zero carbon community by 2050. Based on the modelling using current conditions and technology, the city may have to purchase offset credits to make up the remaining 126 kilo tonnes of CO2e (equivalent carbon dioxide) emissions.

These carbon reduction targets should ensure that the city meets requirements under the Global Covenant of Mayors program.Milestones.

Interim carbon reduction target milestones have been included in five-year increments until 2050.

Milestones have been added for the three priority program areas including Deep Energy Retrofits for Existing Buildings; Renewable Energy; and Electric Mobility and Equipment.


Specific actions that can be implemented over the next three years (2020 –2022) are provided for the three priority areas in a section entitled Implementation including funding suggestions.

Options Considered
The option to continue ‘business as usual’ is presented in the Climate Action Plan.

However, this option does not meet the city’s Strategic Plan 2015-2040 as well as Vision to Focus 2018-2022 objectives to work towards being a new carbon neutral community.

The Climate Action Plan represents part one of the plan focusing on programs to help Burlington achieve its net zero carbon target by 2050. The next phase to begin in 2020 is completion of part two of the Climate Action Plan with a focus on community resiliency by assessing the projected impacts of climate change, identifying areas and populations at risk and vulnerable to climate change, what actions are already taking place and opportunities for improvement.

The implementation of the Climate Action Plan will help to ensure that Burlington is showing leadership by becoming a net zero carbon resilient community.

How will that happen? When every one of us does things differently. The big, bold declarative statements are the easy part – changing well ingrained habits are the hard part.

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2 comments to Staff present Climate Action Plan – delegations would like to see it move along more quickly

  • Joe Gaetan

    Hey Lucy, you have some explaining to do, what is a, “net zero carbon resilient community”?

  • Roger

    Waste of time – a grand useless gesture – might as well declare ourselves – the official UFO Canada landing site for all the good declaring a climate emergency – the climate is in trouble but with no action – a poor excuse for a transit system – here’s an idea – with all the mayor’s international travel – any carbon offsets – as I note a grand but useless gesture