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Climate Change

Green leaf growing from dry land

Clarington Corporate Climate Action Plan

As the effects of climate change increase, Clarington will continue to experience weather that is warmer, wetter and wilder. These changes will bring challenges to our Municipality. With this knowledge, Clarington’s Interdepartmental Climate Change Working Group is developing a corporate Climate Action Plan to enable the Municipality to make informed decisions to respond to climate change as part of municipal operations.

The Municipality is engaging in a five-stage approach to develop its corporate Climate Action Plan:

Phase One: Initiate – Complete
Phase one involves identifying stakeholders, forming an Interdepartmental Climate Action Working Group, taking a first look at current risks and existing climate action strategies and passing a resolution to take action to respond to climate change by creating a Corporate Climate Action Plan.
Phase Two: Research – Complete
Phase two involves initiating research to gain a deeper understanding of climate change in Clarington. This includes creating a corporate greenhouse gas emissions inventory, undertaking a risk and vulnerability assessment, and identifying the consequences and likelihood of climate-related events in Clarington.
Phase Three: Plan - In progress
The Clarington Interdepartmental Climate Action Working Group will engage in a series of work sessions to set goals and identify options, actions and constraints to respond to climate change. The Working Group will evaluate potential actions, financing and implementation alternatives to create the Climate Change Action Plan. At the end of this phase, staff will present a Draft Corporate Climate Action Plan to Council for approval.
Phase Four: Implement
Once the Corporate Climate Action Plan is approved by Council, the Clarington Interdepartmental Climate Action Working Group will develop a detailed implementation plan. Staff will identify key performance indicators (KPIs), responsible departments, funding needs, and timeline for implementation. Once the implementation plan is complete, staff will proceed with implementing climate actions.
Phase Five: Monitor/Review
Staff will track the ongoing implementation of the Climate Action Plan, identifying and reporting on successes and challenges. Staff will evaluate the effectiveness of actions, communicate accomplishments, identify future climate action options and prepare for future updates to the Climate Action Plan.

Partners for Climate Protection

More than 44 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change are under the direct or indirect control of municipalities (FCM, 2020). That’s why the Municipality of Clarington is taking action to establish targets to reduce corporate emission. On February 18, 2020, Council voted to join the Partners for Climate Protection Program (PCP), established by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities – International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. The PCP program consists of a five-milestone framework, regarded as the industry-standard for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Milestone One: Create a Baseline Emissions Inventory and Forecast - This is complete.
A GHG baseline emissions inventory will help track emissions and spending, gather money-saving information and measure progress over time. Having a forecast allows the Municipality to project future emissions based on assumptions about population, economic growth and fuel mix.
Milestone Two: Set Emissions Reduction Targets
GHG emissions reduction targets set the tone and direction for corporate emissions reduction efforts. Targets will be achievable, while also inspiring ambitious action.
Milestone Three: Develop a Local Action Plan
A local action plan outlines how our municipality will achieve its GHG emissions reduction targets. Clarington's GHG emissions reductions targets and actions will be included in the Clarington Corporate Climate Action Plan currently under development.
Milestone Four: Implement the Local Action Plan
Once our plan is complete and approved by Council, it will be implemented by staff.
Milestone Five: Monitor Progress and Report Results
Monitoring helps determine whether our initiatives are working and whether we’ll meet our targets. The data we collect will be used to evaluate and adjust our activities.

Durham Community Climate Adaptation Plan

The Municipality of Clarington recognizes the need for our community to adapt to a changing climate. According to a special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, even if we were to stop emitting greenhouse gasses today, we will continue to experience some climate change due to the greenhouse gas emissions humans have already released into the atmosphere.

The Municipality of Clarington had partnered with the Region of Durham, area municipalities, conservation authorities, and other community stakeholders in Durham Region to develop the Durham Community Climate Adaptation Plan.


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