Climate change is an international environmental and socio-economic issue. A key area of concern is the greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity, such as the use of non-renewable sources of energy such as gasoline, diesel fuel and natural gas.
Coal power generation and methane from landfill waste are other sources of greenhouse gases.
Most sources 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.
The Region of Waterloo has created a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory and action plan for our operations and at the community level. With local partners we will also develop a community GHG action plan to reduce our impact on climate change.
This commitment is part of the Federal Partners for Climate Protection program involving more than 220 Canadian municipalities. It is also part of the local Sustainable Waterloo Regional Carbon Initiative which has more than 40 members in the region. Both programs focus on meeting targets for greenhouse gas reduction that were set by each participating community or organization.
How we're doing
Over the past several years, the Region of Waterloo has prevented thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by improving the energy efficiency of our buildings and traffic signals, using renewable energy, greening our fleet of vehicles and capturing emissions from landfill gas to use as an energy source.
In May 2011, the Region completed its corporate GHG Inventory and Action Plan for its operations. The plan identifies the need to reduce over 40,000 tonnes by the year 2019. We will do this while balancing economic costs with environment protection and community needs as we seek to sustain our quality of life.
The real challenge lies in finding more emission reduction opportunities. As our population grows it requires increased municipal services such as water supply and wastewater treatment, waste collection, transit, police and ambulance.
For more information on the Region's Corporate GHG plan please contact:
Region of Waterloo, Corporate Resources
Phone: (519) 575-4757 Ext. 3308
The Climate Collaborative: A Community Greenhouse Gas Action Plan in Waterloo Region
Reducing our community's carbon footprint
The Region of Waterloo is proud to be a part of the Climate Collaborative along with two other lead organizations - REEP Green Solutions and Sustainable Waterloo Region - as well as area municipalities and local electric and natural gas utilities. This local partnership will work with a range of stakeholders to develop a community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory, action plan and reduction target for Waterloo Region. In 2011, the Climate Collaborative received $180,000 in initial funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation, and was recently approved for a Green Municipal Fund grant of $143,500 to further support the community action planning process.
In May of 2012, the collaborative completed a community-scale GHG emissions inventory for Waterloo Region using 2010 as a base year which also includes a 10-year emissions forecast out to the year 2020. The inventory shows the "carbon footprint" of Waterloo Region through local energy use, traffic volume, waste sent to landfill, and some agricultural activities. This GHG inventory and forecast will provide a solid foundation on which to develop a local action plan towards achieving a realistic yet ambitious GHG reduction target for our community.
The next step for the project through the remainder of 2012 and early 2013 is to engage a range of stakeholders and the general public towards together developing a community climate action plan. This action plan, when implemented, will help reduce GHG emissions as well as support Waterloo Region's future economic development and prosperity while maintaining a clean and healthy environment and enhancing quality of life.
How will Waterloo Region take real action on climate change?
The Community Forum Series is an opportunity to share your thoughts on the Climate Action Plan, to learn about how an overall reduction target will be set for Waterloo Region, and to discuss the benefits and connections with energy and water use, economic development, local food, health, and quality of life. Join us at one of the upcoming Community Forums to hear from a panel of community leaders and then engage in a discussion about the proposed strategies that could be put into action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from residential, business, transportation and agricultural activities in our community over the next 10 years.
Tuesday, March 19th, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, Knox Church (50 Erb St. W., Waterloo)
Thursday, March 21st, 5:00 - 7:00 pm, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener (10 King St. W., Kitchener)
Monday, March 25th, 5:00 - 7:00 pm, Cambridge City Hall (50 Dickson Street, Cambridge)
Note: Registration and open house begins a half hour earlier, at 1:30pm and 4:30pm depending on location
For more details and to register, please visit: http://climateactionwr.eventbrite.com/
Contact: Sarah Brown, 226-476-1659