Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions
What is this indicator and why measure it?
Climate change is an international social, economic and environmental issue which can impact our quality of life. One area of concern is the impact on our climate caused by greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from human activity (e.g. driving cars, coal-powered energy generation). As a response to this concern, over 1000 communities around the world are taking action on climate change by reducing their local GHG emissions.
Local action is critical, considering that the activities of individual residents and businesses, when measured cumulatively, produce a significant source of global GHG emissions. With municipalities having direct control or indirect influence of approximately 44% of GHG emissions in Canada, they are well positioned to show leadership in reducing our national emissions levels.
This indicator identifies major sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in our community and measures the amount each sector contributes in tonnage,. It is important to measure GHG emissions as it provides a picture of Waterloo Region's community environmental footprint. This baseline information gives the community an opportunity to design a unique plan to lessen our impact on climate change, set reduction targets and evaluate the success of our actions.
Our Commitment - ClimateActionWR
The Region of Waterloo is committed to assist in the development and implementation 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 the ClimateActionWR collaborative 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. Watch the ClimateAction WR: A Climate Action Plan in Waterloo Region video for a quick description.
Community GHG Action Plan Timeline
- Conducted background research.
- Regional Council resolution to join the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Partners for Climate Protection program.
- Entered into a Collaborative Agreement with REEP Green Solutions and Sustainable Waterloo Region for the purpose of leading the development of a community scale GHG Inventory and action plan in the Waterloo Region.
- Developed partnerships with Cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo and local electric and natural gas utilities to collect GHG emissions data.
- Prepared a community-scale GHG emissions inventory (2010 base year) and a 10-year forecast to show the community's "carbon footprint" through five main sectors and sources, as shown below: transportation fuel consumption, methane from livestock methane management in agriculture, landfill methane from community waste, and residential, industrial, commercial and institutional energy use.
Community-wide GHG emissions for Waterloo Region from the above sources are estimated to be 3,613,870 tonnes CO2e in 2010. Based on projected population growth within Waterloo Region, emissions are expected to grow to by 17.5% to approximately 4,239,190 tonnes CO2e by 2020.
- The Community Climate Action Plan for Waterloo Region was developed and released in October 2013 using advice and input from community stakeholders. This plan guides the community’s collaborative efforts to reduce GHG emissions by 6% from our 2010 levels by 2020, while at the same time improving the quality of life across the region. The full report is available online. You can also view a summary of the Climate Action Plan.
- This plan has been approved by the Cities of Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo in November. Region of Waterloo Council officially approved the plan on December 11, 2013.
Forecasted Community GHG Emissions (Tonnes) for Waterloo Region: 2010-2020
The goal of the collaborative partners is to continue to work together on the implementation of the Action Plan. Progress reports will be shared regularly and efforts to build engagement will continue by increasing awareness and extending opportunities for people to participate. Stay tuned for opportunities to get involved and provide input.
The following programs and organizations are acknowledged for their financial support to the development of the emissions inventory, forecast, action plan and reduction target:
- Ontario Trillium Foundation ($150,000) and Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation ($30,000) to support the foundational collaborative development and community engagement
- Region of Waterloo along with the Cities of Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo - $54,000 combined to support development of the GHG inventory and forecast.
- The Federation of Canadian Municipality's Green Municipal Fund - $143,500 approved to support the community action planning process.
For more information about the ClimateActionWR please contact:
Region of Waterloo
519-575-4757 ext 3308