Waterloo Region's climate action strategy

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A circle containing the words "ClimateActionWR: Transforming Waterloo Region, #WR80by50" is surrounding by four local scenes: a transit bus in a core area, a red barn on a farm, a historic building, and a pond with children playing at the edge.

Climate change is affecting our community, so our plans are changing, too.

ClimateActionWR is working with all eight municipalities within Waterloo Region (the cities, the townships and the Region) to create a 30-year Climate Action Strategy to achieve an 80 per cent greenhouse gas reduction by 2050.

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane) that trap heat from the sun inside the earth's atmosphere. As more GHGs are released into our atmosphere (largely through the burning of fossil fuels), more heat is trapped by them. This raises the temperature of the air, ocean and water, changing the conditions in which we live, and causing more extreme weather events both globally and locally.

This project is being led by the ClimateActionWR collaborative, in partnership with: Reep Green Solutions, Sustainable Waterloo Region, City of Cambridge, City of Kitchener, City of Waterloo, Township of North Dumfries, Township of Wellesley, Township of Woolwich, Township of Wilmot, and the Region of Waterloo.

Climate change is affecting our community, so our plans are changing, too.

ClimateActionWR is working with all eight municipalities within Waterloo Region (the cities, the townships and the Region) to create a 30-year Climate Action Strategy to achieve an 80 per cent greenhouse gas reduction by 2050.

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane) that trap heat from the sun inside the earth's atmosphere. As more GHGs are released into our atmosphere (largely through the burning of fossil fuels), more heat is trapped by them. This raises the temperature of the air, ocean and water, changing the conditions in which we live, and causing more extreme weather events both globally and locally.

This project is being led by the ClimateActionWR collaborative, in partnership with: Reep Green Solutions, Sustainable Waterloo Region, City of Cambridge, City of Kitchener, City of Waterloo, Township of North Dumfries, Township of Wellesley, Township of Woolwich, Township of Wilmot, and the Region of Waterloo.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Our community can help solve climate change. But we can’t do it without you. We need your feedback on the draft TransformWR climate action strategy. The strategy tells us how we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, and is intended to guide decisions made over the next 30 years by everyone in the community. All municipal governments in Waterloo Region have worked with non-profits through the ClimateActionWR collaborative to develop this strategy.

    Before we finalize the strategy, tell us whether it includes what you need to take action on climate change. The survey will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete, and will be online until April 12th. We expect the final version of the strategy to be considered for adoption by the councils of the three cities, four townships, and Region in late spring.

    The TransformWR strategy is based on a vision for our future that will transform:

    • how we move,
    • how we build and operate our spaces,
    • how we produce, consume and waste, and
    • how we relate.

    To provide a bit more context for the survey, these are the key things to know about the TransformWR strategy:

    1. 94% of the community’s emissions in 2015 were the result of energy use for transportation, workplaces, and homes. As a result, reducing our emissions is about transforming the ways we use energy.
    2. The draft strategy was developed using a “backcasting” approach, identifying a community vision for Waterloo Region as a low-carbon community in 2050, and working backward to identify what we need to do to get there.
    3. The recommended approach to emissions reductions is based on extensive community and stakeholder consultation, as well as technical consultation and energy consultant expertise.
    4. The recommended 80by50 “technical pathway” describes what we need to do to reduce our emissions, and how fast we need to do it.
    5. Based on this technical pathway, the draft strategy identifies six Transformative Changes that must be achieved by 2050 to reduce emissions and achieve an equitable, prosperous, resilient low-carbon community.
    6. For each Transformative Change, strategies to achieve it have been identified.
    7. The draft strategy includes a 10-year action plan to guide work until 2030. It identifies 75 actions that need to be taken in the next decade to pursue the strategies. These actions are crucial for significantly reducing emissions by 2030, and setting up the changes that will allow us to achieve the full vision by 2050. This list is not exhaustive, and will serve as a starting point for more detailed planning.
    8. The strategy also identifies an interim GHG reduction target of 30% below 2010 levels, to be achieved by 2030. This target is consistent with the Province of Ontario’s target and the Paris agreement. This target is ambitious, but achievable, and will require significant local action to be taken quickly, across the entire community. 
    9. This document is intended to guide decision making across our community over the next 30 years, and will inform our actions and practices to ensure we can transform Waterloo Region into a low carbon community. This goal will only be achieved with your help. Action must be taken at every level: as individuals in our homes, as business owners and operators, as community groups and organizations, and through municipal action and leadership.

    If you experience any technical difficulties with this survey, please contact kdaley@regionofwaterloo.ca

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  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Please describe your visions of the future for Waterloo Region in 2050, based on the two scenarios. Your responses will be used to develop a shared community vision, which will inform the long-term strategy development.

    The survey will close on November 29th, 2019.

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