Regional Council has approved a net-zero corporate greenhouse gas emission goal by 2050 in principle. This target will support action on climate change mitigation and align Niagara with other municipalities working towards Canada's net-zero carbon emissions plan, a news release stated.
Staff will be looking to achieve these results following the framework provided in the Partners for Climate Protection program. This five-step framework uses milestones to help reduce emissions and combat climate change. To date, the Region has successfully achieved two of the five corporate milestones, including a greenhouse gas emissions inventory for corporate operations and setting a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.
"In order for Niagara Region to effectively address and mitigate the real and growing impacts of climate change, it is imperative that these corporate targets are fully integrated into our decision-making processes and operations across the organization," said Chair Jim Bradley in the release. "Affirming our pledge to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is yet another step we are taking to demonstrate our commitment to combating climate change. It is our hope that other organizations across the region will join us in our efforts in limiting our contributions to climate change in Niagara."
The greenhouse gas emissions inventory showed that Niagara Region spent about $18.4 million on energy in 2018. This inventory included emissions generated by buildings, outdoor lighting and traffic signals, water and wastewater, operational waste and fleet. Annual data collected through the new inventory will help track and anticipate emissions, energy use and spending, and measure progress over time.
The corporate greenhouse gas emission reduction target sets the foundation and direction for the Region’s emissions reduction efforts. In 2023, the Region will begin work on a Corporate Climate Action Strategy to support determining a pathway to net-zero.
In addition to these recent initiatives, progress has been made by Niagara Region in 2021 and 2022 to address climate change. Some initiatives include the Regional Council Climate Emergency Declaration; Climate Projections for Niagara Region Report; Niagara Official Plan Climate Change Policies; and the Corporate Climate Change Working Group to name a few.
Learn more about Niagara Region’s recent Climate Change Update report.