Climate Change

Climate change is a global issue that impacts our natural and built environment, society and economy. A major concern is the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) caused by human activity, such as the use of non-renewable sources of energy like gasoline, diesel fuel and natural gas.

Coal power generation and methane from landfill waste are other sources of greenhouse gases. Many sources of GHGs are also linked to concerns about smog and air pollution and to the need for energy security to ensure we will continue to have reliable clean energy sources. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions helps conserve our energy supply, improves air quality and reduces their effect on climate change and ecosystems.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities 2016 Sustaianble Communities Award for Climate Action Plan

Our Response

The Region of Waterloo has created a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory and action plan for its corporate operations and at the community level. In collaboration with local partners, the Region is also developing a community-wide GHG action plan to help reduce our local impact on climate change.

Bronze Pledging Partner logoThis commitment is part of the Federal Partners for Climate Protection program involving more than 240 Canadian municipalities. It is also part of the local Sustainable Waterloo Regional Carbon Initiative, which has more than 60 members within the region. Both programs focus on developing and implementing effective action plans towards meeting targets for GHG emission reduction.

How we're doing

The Region completed its corporate GHG Inventory and Action Plan for its operations in May 2011. The reduction target established at that time was to maintain GHG emissions at 2009 levels through to the year 2019. Considering anticipated population growth and its impact on corporate operations, this reduction target translates to a reduction of over 40,000 tonnes by the year 2019.

In 2013, staff prepared an updated emissions inventory, which indicates the Region achieved a nearly 15 per cent reduction of GHGs in 2011 compared to 2009 emission levels. Over 25,000 tonnes of GHG emissions were prevented by improving the energy efficiency of our buildings and traffic signals, using renewable energy, greening our fleet of vehicles, improving wastewater operations and capturing emissions from landfill gas to use as an energy source.

It is still expected that expansion in Regional facilities and fleet (e.g. transit, police and ambulances) will increase corporate emissions over the next several years. Based on the success achieved to date, however, and the identification of practical and beneficial actions to implement, a new GHG reduction target is set: reduce GHG emissions by an absolute 10 per cent from 2009 levels by the year 2019. Regional Council approved this more aggressive target in October 2013.

For more information on the Region's Corporate GHG Action plan:

Visit our Sustainability Progress website

or contact:

David Roewade
Sustainability Planner
Region of Waterloo, Corporate Resources
Phone: (519) 575-4757 Ext. 3308


ClimateActionWR: A Community Greenhouse Gas Action Plan

The Region of Waterloo assisted in the development of a community climate action plan to reduce our impact on climate change. This pledge is part of the nation-wide Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program, which includes participation from more than 240 Canadian municipalities.

The Region of Waterloo is proud to be a part of ClimateActionWR along with two other lead organizations, REEP Green Solutions and Sustainable Waterloo Region. Through this partnership with local municipalities, utilities, organizations and community members, a community-wide GHG inventory and forecast, climate action plan and reduction target has been developed for the community of Waterloo Region. The full Climate Action Plan report is available online.

The Climate Action Plan directs our community's collaborative efforts to reduce GHG emissions by six per cent from 2010 levels by 2020, while at the same time improving the quality of life across the region. This plan has been approved by the Cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo and the Region of Waterloo Councils.

Stay tuned for more ways to get involved with the ClimateActionWR. Contact Danielle Laperriere, Plan Manager, at 226-476-1659


David Roewade
Sustainability Planner
Region of Waterloo, Corporate Resources
Phone: (519) 575-4757 Ext. 3308

For more information about the Climate Action Plan, visit our Sustainability Progress website.