Why do we need a plan?

London needs an action oriented plan that harnesses the community's desires and aspirations to address climate change, builds on the strength of businesses, collaborates with all levels of government, and establishes a measurable and progressive framework where we can hold each other accountable for our future. For now, we are calling it the Climate Emergency Action Plan. The evidence is clear, we all have a role to play. And our success will be measured by our level of collaboration and our pursuit in building a more sustainable city.

On April 24, 2019, the Declaration of a Climate Emergency was approved by London's City Council "for the purposes of naming, framing, and deepening our commitment to protecting our economy, our eco systems, and our community from climate change." As of January 28, 2020, London is one of 1,325 jurisdictions in 26 countries to recognize and declare a climate emergency.

There are two primary types of responses to address climate change:

  • Mitigation: mitigating future impacts through reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxides, primarily as a result of the use of fossil fuels (e.g., gasoline for personal vehicles, natural gas to heat buildings).
  • Adaptation: adapting infrastructure, homes, buildings, landscapes, etc. to better withstand current and future impacts of more frequent severe weather events that are created from a climate that is “wetter, warmer, and wilder”.

The City of London needs a Climate Emergency Action Plan because decisions made by City Council regarding land use and transportation have influence on approximately 70% of London’s community greenhouse gas emissions.

These include:

  • Planning policies that encourage mixed-use and mixed-density land use (i.e., “growing inwards and upwards”) that supports walking, cycling, and transit use as well as district energy systems.

  • Transportation policies and infrastructure that emphasize “complete streets” that prioritize pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders ahead of single-occupancy vehicles.

  • Waste management systems that maximize the resource recovery potential of collected materials, including the production of renewable energy and compost from organic waste.

  • Engagement programs that “connect the dots” and foster collaboration between London’s stakeholders, given that most of the control over fossil fuel use rests with Londoners – our citizens, employers, and employees. Individual and collective action on energy conservation, energy efficiency, clean and renewable energy is key to our sustainable future.

The decisions made at City Hall have a direct influence in reducing London's greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the climate emergency.

This figure illustrates the estimated breakdown of London's greenhouse gas emissions in terms of human activity. Half of the emissions come from personal transportation and energy use at home.

Adapting to a changing climate requires taking action to protect our natural, built and social environments. London can expect more frequent snow squalls and river flooding events, plus warmer evening summer temperatures.

London has 43 km of Thames River located within its boundary and another 85 km of smaller creeks and waterways. Combined with the history of numerous floods, the majority of adaptation work has been focused on the river and stormwater infrastructure challenges.

Flooding at Western University along the river.

This photo shows Western University's campus flooding along the Thames River.

London has had five severe flooding occurrences in the last 30 years (March 1977, September 1986, July 2000, April and December 2008). Current infrastructure was designed and constructed on the basis of standards and codes that were developed decades ago. With the changes in these rainfall events and climate patterns, some infrastructure may no longer have the capacity to handle the new rainfall events. Embedding climate change considerations has now become a necessary component of the majority of infrastructure projects.

There are many adaptation measures already completed or underway in London that will support a Climate Emergency Action Plan. Some of these adaptation measures include:

  • Rainfall intensity duration frequency curves research.
  • Increased public education campaigns.
  • Integrate climate change into asset management.
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit partnership to monitor for West Nile and other vector diseases.
  • Completion of the sewer system pollution prevention and control plan.
  • Low impact development installations (43 and counting).
  • Update to the emergency flood plan.
  • Enhanced sewer maintenance and monitoring (including neighbourhood-scale precipitation monitoring).
  • Basement flooding grant program.
  • Increased number of public shade structures.
  • Enhanced invasive species removal.
  • Installation and monitoring of rain gardens.
  • Increased number of splash pads / cooling centres.
  • Update to the urban forest strategy with a tree inventory and tree protection by-law.


The Proposal

The City of London has proposed a more-aggressive long-range greenhouse gas reduction goal for both municipal operations and the community as a whole to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This target will strive towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in London by the year 2050.

To accomplish this goal, the development of a Climate Emergency Action Plan will involve the following:

  • Reviewing the previous guiding principles, along with new principles to be used for this plan.
  • Understanding that this has been called a climate emergency for a reason; meaning we need to do more now and make our actions a high priority and build climate change thinking into our daily lifestyles.
  • Identifying key partners and groups, and determining ways to engage them.
  • Identifying priority action areas, and compiling details about actions that are already being undertaken by key stakeholders and partners.
  • Identifying the challenges, opportunities, required adjustments, and the steps to lead to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
  • Ensuring that idea generation, the economy, the community, and the environment are all considered on the path towards long-term sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction.
  • Establishing objectives, strategies, actions, measurable goals, and milestones whereby accountability can be assigned.
  • Defining realistic time frames to undertake actions.
  • Enhancing the existing networks within the community and business sectors to foster and grow a culture of collaboration, action, empowerment and accountability.
  • Ensuring that during the development of the Climate Emergency Action Plan, we continue to increase our actions to reduce our use of fossil fuels.
  • Creating a Climate Emergency Action Plan for London with assigned roles and responsibilities that address:
    • How we can reduce fossil fuel energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (ex. climate change mitigation strategy and actions).
    • How we need to adapt, design and become more resilient for more severe weather (ex. climate change adaptation strategy and actions).

The City of London will also seek to engage and collaborate with communities and partners on its current mid-term (2030) target for community greenhouse gas emissions, currently set for a 37% reduction from 1990 levels by 2030.

This graph illustrates London's greenhouse gas emissions year by year from 1990 to 2018, along with a trajectory of how much greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to meet a mid-term target in 2030, and a net-zero target by 2050.

This graph illustrates London's greenhouse gas emissions year by year from 1990 to 2018, along with a trajectory of how much greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to meet a mid-term target of a 37% reduction in 2030, and a net-zero target by 2050.



What can be done immediately?

There are actions that London residents, businesses, and employers can do to take climate action immediately while the Climate Emergency Action Plan is created.

Measure your carbon footprint with Project Neutral

The first step you can take is to measure your household's carbon footprint. More than 1,000 London households have already used Project Neutral’s carbon calculator to create a personalized action plan, and start making a positive impact. Discover your carbon footprint in five minutes and better understand your climate impact.

This graphic is an example of Project Neutral's Carbon Calculator, where in just five minutes Project Neutral can share your household's carbon impact along with steps on how you can reduce your greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

This graphic is an example of Project Neutral's carbon calculator, where in just five minutes Project Neutral can share your household's carbon impact along with tips on how you can reduce your greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Actions you can take

The following “Top Five Actions” for residents and businesses were identified through the Community Energy Action Plan engagement process. These represent actions that can be and/or are being implemented now and will be supported by City-led actions within the new Climate Emergency Action Plan.

London Residents

  1. Drive less (or not at all) – make more trips by walking, cycling, transit, carpooling
  2. Reduce transportation impacts by switching to an electric vehicle, a hybrid vehicle, or a very fuel efficient one.
  3. Make your home more energy efficient and severe weather resilient– and work towards net-zero energy use and reduced stormwater runoff.
  4. Reduce food waste, especially for high-impact foods such as red meat and dairy.
  5. Go local – for food, for products, for vacations.
Learn more with CityGreen

These are just some of the many changes London can make to take climate action. Visit www.london.ca/citygreen for more ideas on how to take climate action.

London Businesses and Employers

  1. Invest in energy efficiency and low-impact development measures for buildings and processes.
  2. Apply green procurement strategies to the supply chain.
  3. Invest in green fleet measures.
  4. Reduce business travel, especially by air, through webinars and video conferences. If business travel is required, consider carbon offsetting.
  5. Reduce employee commuting – promote cycling, transit, carpooling, and working from home.
Learn more about how businesses can take climate action

Enbridge and the Independent Electricity System Operator offer incentives for energy efficiency & conservation projects. Natural Resources Canada also offers incentives for energy management projects.

In addition, businesses and institutions can join Green Economy London to help take the first step, engage with London Environmental Network for educational events, and explore commuting programs with Commute Ontario.


What is the City doing?

As the level of political leadership closest to citizens, municipalities have the unique opportunity to leverage that connection to affect real, on-the-ground change even in the absence of strong leadership from higher levels of government. As reported in London’s 2018 Community Energy and Greenhouse Gas Inventory, the municipal government has direct control over only approximately 4% of London’s community greenhouse gas emissions (i.e., methane emissions from the W12A landfill and fossil fuel use by municipal operations), but decisions made by City Council regarding land use and transportation have influence on an approximately 70% of London’s community greenhouse gas emissions. The decisions made at City Hall have a direct influence on the establishment of norms and expectations for Londoners related to both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the City’s ability to adapt to the changing climate and increase resiliency for severe weather events.

Climate Actions within Council’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan

The 2019-2023 Strategic Plan for the City of London contains more than 30 specific strategies and actions that support climate change mitigation and adaptation. This is in addition to programs and projects that are part of regular city operations such as the recycling program, LED streetlights, maintenance of on-going energy efficiency equipment in facilities, and the Regional Rideshare carpool program, etc. The majority of these strategies and actions are associated with base funding and do not require new investment. However, a number of them may be augmented with additional funding as part of the multi-year budget deliberations starting in December 2019.

  • The development of a climate lens for decision making, and review of City-led policies and actions to include within the plan,
  • Completing a Climate Change Adaptation and Severe Weather Strategy with a focus on the impact of severe weather on London’s built infrastructure including an updated flood forecasting and warning system,
  • Completing a Climate Change Adaptation Risk Assessment Report to provide direction for staff and council of the City of London.

  • Establish a City-wide target for London to achieve net zero community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2050.
  • Consistent with the direction of Council’s recently adopted Corporate Energy Conservation & Demand Management (CDM) Plan, pursue opportunities to achieve Corporate net zero GHG emissions prior to 2050 with the goal of demonstrating municipal commitment and leadership to Climate Emergency mitigation.
  • All Service Areas to identify immediate, incremental actions that can be implemented with existing resources, and using existing and new tools and educational materials created by the City to work towards the City-wide target.
  • Launch the process to develop a new Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) and incorporate the upcoming engagement for the Community Energy Action Plan into this 170 process and ensure that the community understands that one comprehensive plan is being prepared.
  • Develop an interim screening Climate Emergency Evaluation Tool (CEET)
  • The interim screening tool will be structured around high-level questions regarding the potential impact to the community and corporation regarding climate change aspects such as reducing fossil fuel use, reducing stormwater generation, and improving resiliency to severe weather events and extreme heat events.
  • Create a new Climate Emergency area on the City’s web site, providing better communication to Londoners on the climate emergency, its implications and how they can assist. This new web site will build on the existing tools, details and processes at the City.
  • Advocate, as a municipal leader in Canada, for climate emergency action at the provincial and federal government level.
  • Advance those actions and strategies identified in Council’s strategic plan that will address the Climate Emergency through existing budgets.
  • Continue community and key stakeholder engagement on the Climate Emergency Action Plan process, including participation in the FCM Showcase Cities Pilot Project.
  • Complete and formalize a permanent screening Climate Emergency Evaluation Tool (CEET) and administrative processes through expert review and London-focused risk evaluation.
  • Include a standard section in all Standing Committee reports that addresses the Climate Emergency Declaration and, where appropriate, applies the screening CEET to the issues that are addressed in each report.
  • Prioritize and expedite, active transportation and transit infrastructure and services with existing budget resources.
  • Seek out opportunities for new funding to support climate emergency initiatives.
  • Work with each Service Area to review all proposed major City projects and master plans (e.g., road widenings, facilities, parks & recreation facility upgrades, wastewater treatment, waste disposal, fleet) within the 10 year capital plan through the screening Climate Emergency Evaluation Tool (CEET) and, where appropriate, recommend the modification of these projects;
  • Work with each Service Area to review all major existing programs and projects through the screening CEET to determine what should be considered for elimination, what may be changed and what should be started in response to the climate emergency.
  • Identify methods for advancing the urban forest strategy more quickly including exploring reforestation of under-utilized agricultural land within London and tree planting on a regional basis.
  • Establish appropriate tools to encourage cool roofs, green roofs, and/or rooftop solar energy systems and green infrastructure for private developments.
  • Work with relevant Service Areas to apply the screening CEET to review, and make any required changes to address the climate emergency in the Design Specifications Manual, Site Plan Control Area By-law, Urban Design Guidelines, Tree Protection bylaw, Purchasing By-law, all granting processes and other documents and processes that have an impact on the climate emergency, noting that:
    • these assessments and amendments will be undertaken in priority, based on the magnitude of their potential impact on the climate emergency; and
    • the entirety of this process will be undertaken over a period that extends beyond the one-year timeline.
  • Complete and publish the new Climate Emergency Action Plan, which will include (but not be limited to) the following:
    • A clear city-wide net zero community GHG emissions target (as early as possible, but no later than 2050).
    • A clear Corporate net zero GHG emissions target (as early as possible, but no later than 2050).
    • A clear strategy and specific actions to achieve the community and corporate targets listed above.
    • A strategic approach and specific tools for communicating the climate emergency.
    • A strategy for climate change adaptation, with a focus on the impact of severe weather on London’s built infrastructure including an updated flood forecasting and warning system.
  • Elevate discussions with the development industry regarding design and construction techniques to reduce lifecycle GHG emission impacts as well as to reduce stormwater generation through low-impact development techniques.
  • Explore opportunities for utilizing GHG offsets and establish policy for when this is appropriate.


London's Current Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The City of London began tracking energy use in the early 1990s. A more comprehensive record started in 2004. Since then, the City has reported annually on London's energy use and has worked towards conserving energy and mitigating climate change.

In 2014, the City of London updated its community-focused strategy, through the 2014-2018 Community Energy Action Plan. More than 80% of the strategies and City-led actions set out in 2014 were completed by the end of 2018, with significant progress made on the remaining items. The City’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 were 64 percent lower than they were in 2007, but there is still more we can do to take climate action in London.

Understanding where London's energy and greenhouse gasses come from:

Although most people think electricity when people talk about energy, in terms of energy content, natural gas is the largest source of energy we use. Given that natural gas is used primarily for heating buildings, this is not surprising given our cold climate. Gasoline is the second largest, which reflects the impact of personal transportation choices on our energy needs.

In 2018, City staff estimated that Londoners spent almost $1.6 billion on energy commodities. This changes year by year depending on a combination of energy prices as well as energy use in London. Gasoline and electricity are our two largest expenditures. Given the current low commodity price for natural gas, the total cost for natural gas use was only 18% of all energy expenditures.

The largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in London – 31 percent of all emissions – are the vehicles that Londoners use on an almost daily basis. Based on estimates from Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer, roughly one-third of these emissions are for trips within London, with the remaining two-thirds associated with trips to and from London.

Our homes are the second largest source of emissions, accounting for 19 percent of emissions. Combined, the day-to-day activities of Londoners at home and on the road account for over half of London’s emissions.

Electricity is the cleanest energy commodity in Ontario, with over 90% of Ontario’s electricity came from emissions-free generation – a mix of nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, and biofuels. However, electricity was the most expensive energy commodity in 2017. Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel and the least expensive energy commodity. The use of ethanol in gasoline (10% in regular blends) help to reduce emissions.

It is important to note that fossil fuel energy comes in the form of heat when it is burned and there are major limits as to how much heat energy can be converted to other types of energy (e.g., mechanical or electrical energy). For example, in typical city driving, only 15% to 20% of this heat energy from the gasoline burned in your car is used to move your car. In comparison, over 90% of the electricity energy in an electric vehicle is used to move the car.

This chart also shows the cost-related challenges of replacing natural gas for heating.

During the development of the Climate Emergency Action Plan, greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets and milestones will be established to help London reach an overall goal of being carbon-neutral by 2050.

As the plan develops, it is important to note that the current goal for 2030 is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to be 37 percent below 1990 levels. To reach the current 2030 target, Londoners and London businesses will need to reduce fossil fuel use on a per-person basis by an additional 40% from our most recently recorded (2018) levels.


What are other Ontario communities doing?

Since the early 2000s, most Ontario municipalities have been engaged in energy management and energy reduction programs for the purposes of saving money and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. More recently, cities in Ontario have taken a more urgent approach in declaring a climate emergency and developing further actions to mitigate climate change. London is one of 1,325 jurisdictions in 26 countries to recognize and declare a climate emergency. Learn more about how other Ontario communities are taking climate action (as of December 2019).

Burlington’s City Council unanimously passed a motion to declare a climate emergency in April, 2019.

An action item from the declaration was that Council and staff immediately increase the priority of the fight against climate change and apply a climate lens to the plans and actions of the City of Burlington (including the Council strategic workplan and future budgets).

Burlington had previously a Community Energy Plan that was established in January 2014, with five goals:

  • Create leading edge community engagement in energy initiatives (conservation, generation and security) in order to enhance the implementation effectiveness and support sustained quality of life in Burlington.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of buildings in Burlington in ways that contribute to Burlington’s overall economic competitiveness.
  • Increase sustainable local energy generation in Burlington and enhance supply security in ways that support Burlington’s economic competitiveness.
  • Optimize integrated community energy systems and efficiency opportunities through land use planning.
  • Increase transportation efficiency.

Burlington established a greenhouse gas reduction target to reduce the community’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 27 percent from 2014 levels by 2030.

The City of Guelph has not declared a climate emergency, however it is mitigating climate change through a community energy plan, along with a number of actions and goals to become a net zero carbon community by 2050.

Guelph was the first municipality in Canada to establish a community energy plan with its Community Energy Initiative in 2007, with three goals:

  • Use less energy in 25 years than in 2005
  • Consume less energy per capita than comparable Canadian cities
  • Produce less greenhouse gas per capita than the current global average

In May 2018, Guelph’s City Council approved the Our Energy Guelph task force’s recommendations for Guelph to become a net zero carbon community by 2050, as well as a further target for 100 percent renewable energy use in City operations by 2050.

Our Energy Guelph has also recommended the following actions in their Community Energy Initiative Update (2018) in order of priority:

  • Retrofit homes pre-1980
  • Retrofit industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) buildings
  • Stricter codes on new build
  • Photovoltaic (solar PV) net metering
  • Electrify transit
  • Heat pumps
  • Retrofit homes 1980-2017
  • Large PV
  • Active transportation
  • Energy storage
  • Electrify fleets (including the municipal fleet)
  • Expand transit
  • District energy
  • Solar hot water
  • Wind energy
  • Renewable natural gas
  • Electrify personal vehicles
  • Ride share programs
  • Car free zones
  • Autonomous vehicles

On September 11, 2019, Halton Regional Council unanimously approved a motion declaring a climate emergency.

Staff are working towards submitting a report to Regional Council in the spring of 2020 that includes:

  • proposed short- and long-term climate change goals for the organization;
  • an outline of how Halton will work towards achieving the remaining four milestones of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Partners for Climate Protection(external link) program;
  • an outline of opportunities to manage growth and development to address climate considerations through an update to the Regional Official Plan;
  • the development of corporate sustainability and climate change policies for Regional infrastructure and operations;
  • the identification of related performance metrics, timelines for achieving major milestones and a strategy to report on progress; and
  • partnering with the Local Municipalities and community organizations working to engage residents and inform community action on climate change.

The local councils for the City of Burlington, Town of Halton Hills, Town of Milton and Town of Oakville all declared climate emergencies in 2019 as well.

City of Hamilton unanimously adopted a motion declare a climate emergency in March, 2019.

A multi-departmental Corporate Climate Change Task Force of City of Hamilton staff has been created investigate additional actions to be taken to achieve net zero carbon emissions before 2050

On March 5, 2019, the City of Kingston became the first Ontario municipality to declare that climate change is an emergency that requires an urgency and strategic response.

Departments of the City of Kingston and Utilities Kingston are doing many things that directly and indirectly reduce GHG emissions.

  • Electric Vehicle Strategy: switching from gas and diesel to clean electric vehicles and providing public charging stations.
  • Investment in public transit: increasing transit ridership through improved routes, services and programs.
  • Energy from waste: managing organic waste to prevent methane and examining potential for Kingston to generate clean bio-gas energy from organic wastes.
  • Greener buildings: retrofitting existing buildings and creating new buildings to a higher environmental standard.
  • Active transportation: making it easier to go car-free with bike friendly infrastructure, walkable streets, and community bike-sharing.
  • Compact urban form: avoiding sprawl and car dependency through urban density, transit oriented development and infill.

Oxford County has established an ambitious goal to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 as outlined in its 100% Renewable Energy and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan.

Oxford County’s plans also include interim targets to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions by three percent from 2015 levels by 2020, 25 percent by 2030, and 69 percent by 2050.

Actions identified include:

  • Change human behaviour
  • Retrofit existing built- environment
  • Upgrade infrastructures and support efficient technologies
  • Increase renewable electricity
  • Tackle the built environment (heating/cooling)
  • Tackle the mobility and transport challenge
  • Modernize the grid and other infrastructure
  • Introduce innovative and alternative financing mechanisms
  • New mechanisms to internalize externalities
  • Establish stable, long-term (financial) support schemes
  • Ensure accountability and transparency
  • Promote inclusive communication and outreach
  • Empower a decentralized and diversified energy transition
  • Safeguard a socially just transition
  • Generate and disseminate specific knowledge
  • Make knowledge and data accessible
  • Promote capacity building and training

City council voted unanimously to pass a motion declaring a climate emergency in Sudbury. in May, 2019.

In November of 2019, city staff released their Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP) and a strategy to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

The CEEP uses energy, emissions, land-use, and financial modelling to determine the community-wide efforts required to meet a 2050 net-zero emissions target. The Plan also describes the efforts required to meet an 80% of 2016 emissions levels reduction target by 2050 for comparison.The CEEP employs three key concepts in determining its recommended actions:

  1. The Reduce-Improve-Switch paradigm (reduce energy use, improve efficiency,and switch to low-carbon energy sources);
  2. Community energy planning prioritization; and
  3. Infrastructure, mechanical, and energy systems turnover.

Learn more about Sudbury's CEEP.

The Region of Waterloo recently released its Community Energy Investments Strategy in February 2018. This builds upon the existing stakeholder-led Climate Action Waterloo Region plan. The purpose of the strategy is to improve and sustain Waterloo Region’s economic competitiveness and quality of life through the coordination of targeted energy investments.

The strategy, if implemented fully, is estimated to achieve 39 percent reduction in use of imported electricity generation and fuel by the year 2041 and about 50 percent reduction in GHG emissions from 2014 levels.

Goals included within their strategy include:

  • Promote construction of high performance and energy self-sufficient buildings.
  • increase energy efficiency of existing buildings.
  • Increase the use of onsite renewable energy in buildings.
  • Empower energy users to utilize consumption data for smart energy management.
  • Optimize use of local resources for energy generation.
  • Assess and support opportunities to develop distributed and integrated energy systems
  • Investigate energy storage options (technologies and scenarios/scale) and support their use where feasible.
  • Increase reliance on active transportation and transit.
  • Increase electrification of local transportation.
  • Increase use of clean low carbon fuels.
  • Raise energy literacy within the community regarding the need to evolve how we locally manage our energy.
  • Proactively integrate energy considerations into ongoing land development and local infrastructure planning processes.
  • Build on Waterloo Region’s competitive advantage and capacity for delivering research, innovation, technology and support services for the energy sector as well as economic sectors with high energy demands.

Windsor's City Councillors unanimously agreed in November of 2019 to declare a climate change emergency.

The City of Windsor had previously released its Community Energy Plan in July 2017. The plan identifies ways to support Windsor’s local economy by increasing competitiveness, creating jobs in the energy sector, and serves as a business retention strategy. The CEP also identifies ways to improve energy efficiency, improve energy security, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while contributing to the overall quality of life of the Windsor community.

Actions included within their plan include:

  • Create a deep retrofit program for existing homes
  • Enforce compliance with the Ontario Building Code for new residential development.
  • Integrate energy performance labelling for homes and buildings.
  • Create a net zero neighbourhood as an opportunity for transformative change at the neighbourhood scale.
  • Create a deep retrofit program for existing businesses and public buildings.
  • Enforce compliance with the Ontario Building Code for new commercial and institutional development.
  • Continually increase industrial energy efficiency.
  • Reinforce a Windsor network and mentorship program for transfer of best practices (in the industrial sector).
  • Encourage a modal shift towards public transit.
  • Develop and implement an active transportation master plan.
  • Foster the adoption of electric vehicles.
  • Continue to advance smart energy systems by integrating into the land use planning process.
  • Designate and plan district energy areas.
  • Create a Gordie Howe International Bridge low-energy economic development area.
  • Encourage the installation of solar arrays.
  • Develop an education and communication campaign to support the CEP.

The plan has established goals to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions per person by 40 per cent by 2041 from 2014 levels.


Participate in the development of London's Climate Emergency Action Plan

Over the course of the development of the Climate Emergency Action Plan, the City will be posting a number of questions and we will be looking for your feedback. The goal is to hear from Londoners and have them provide feedback, insights, advice and thoughts in a structured format.

1. Did you find the layout of this Get Involved site easy to use, and the information easy to find?
2. Did you find the information provided on this Get Involved site helpful?

1 = No knowledge and understanding. 10 = Extensive knowledge and understanding.

You have 250 characters left.
5. Do you believe that climate change is caused by human activities?
6. Do you believe that you have the ability to influence climate change and take climate action?
7. What are you currently doing (or have done in the past) to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint?
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You have 300 characters left.
10. Would you attend any of the following engagement opportunities for further information on the Climate Emergency Action Plan?
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Share with us any input you have towards London's Climate Emergency Action Plan.

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NOTICE OF COLLECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION-The personal information submitted on this Get Involved page is collected under the authority of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25 and will be used to provide details and input regarding future Climate Emergency Action Plan supported events or activities. Questions about this collection of personal information can be emailed to climateaction@london.ca



Below are a number of terms that may appear in the documents and reports that are helping guide the Climate Emergency Action Plan.

Air Quality: The degree to which the air in a particular area or geography is suitable for inhabitants including humans, animals, or plants to remain healthy.

Anthropogenic: Describes something originating from humans, or human activity. The term is now being used to describe this current geological time period given the degree of change to the world's climate. The “Anthropocene” now follows the other geologic time periods such as the Paleozoic, the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic.

Asset Management: According to the City of London’s Asset Management Policy, Asset ManagementCity of London’s (City) approach to planning, designing, constructing, acquiring, operating, maintaining, renewing, replacing and disposing of its municipal infrastructure assets in a way that ensures sound stewardship of public resources while delivering effective and efficient customer service.

Carbon Footprint: The amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere as a result of burning fossil fuels and other activities of a particular individual, organization, or community.

Circular Economy: An alternative to the traditional linear “make-use- dispose” process. The circular economy model aims to minimize the use of raw materials, maximize the useful life of a product, and create value for the product to be used again once it reaches end of life.

Climate: The prevailing weather conditions including temperature, precipitation, and wind patterns in an area over a long period of time.

Climate Action: Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our impact on the climate.

Climate Adaptation: Adjusting infrastructure, homes, buildings, landscapes, etc. to better withstand current and future impacts of more frequent severe weather events that are created from a climate that is wetter, warmer, and wilder.

Climate Change: A long-term shift in global or regional climate patterns. The climate of an area includes seasonal temperature, rainfall averages, and wind patterns.

Climate Emergency Declaration: On April 24, 2019, the Declaration of a Climate Emergency was approved by London's City Council "for the purposes of naming, framing, and deepening our commitment to protecting our economy, our eco systems, and our community from climate change." As of December 2019, London is one of 1,180 local governments to recognize and declare a climate emergency. A declaration acknowledges the seriousness of climate change, and London is developing a Climate Emergency Action Plan to respond to this emergency.

Climate Emergency Evaluation Tool (CEET): An interim screening tool being developed by the City of London to evaluate projects' potential climate change impacts to the community and City of London.

Climate Mitigation: The action of lessening future impacts of climate change through reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Gigajoule (or, one billion joules): A metric unit for measuring energy, and is approximately equivalent to energy provided by burning 26 litres of gasoline (roughly half a tank of gas in a car).

Greenhouse Gas (GHG): A gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect in our atmosphere by absorbing infrared radiation, similar to the glass in a greenhouse that traps heat. Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas produced by human activity, but methane from decomposing garbage and nitrous oxides from incinerating sewage sludge are also potent greenhouse gases. Emissions of greenhouse gases are reported in terms of “equivalent carbon dioxide.”

Green Infrastructure: An infrastructure asset consisting of natural or human- made elements that provide ecological and hydrological functions and processes and includes natural heritage features and systems, parklands, stormwater management systems, street trees, urban forests, natural channels, permeable surfaces and green roofs (Per Ontario Regulation 588/17).

Lifecycle: Describes the sequential stages connecting a product system, from material extraction or generation to final disposal.

Megawatt: (or, one million watts): A metric unit for measuring power output, usually for electricity, and is approximately the amount of power needed to light 200,000 LED light bulbs (at 5 watts each).

Net Zero: Net zero refers to the balance of either energy consumption or emissions production in a community or building. For energy consumption it is achieved when the consumption of energy is balanced by renewable energy production. For the production of emissions, it is achieved when total production equals zero or greenhouse gas emissions are removed or offset.

Resilience: The capacity of cities to function, so that the people living and working in cities survive and thrive no matter what stresses or shocks they encounter.

Severe Weather: Severe weather events refer to meteorological conditions that are rare for a particular place and/or time, such as an intense storm or heat wave and are beyond the normal range of activity. They can be the result of sudden and drastic changes in temperature, precipitation and sea-level or they may be the result of a more gradual, but prolonged, shift in temperature or precipitation that is beyond the normal range.

Terajoule (or, one trillion joules): Equal to 1,000 gigjoules, or approximately 26,000 litres of gasoline (roughly the amount of gasoline in 500 cars).

Tonne: The metric unit of mass used to represent 1,000 kilograms. Emissions of greenhouse gas emissions are reported in terms of “tonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide”. Given that carbon dioxide is an invisible gas, the best way to picture what a tonne of carbon dioxide like is to imagine this as a balloon about ten metres wide.