London's climate emergency declaration
Our community's response to climate change
London’s climate is changing, and climate change will affect London in many ways.
City Council continues to recognize the importance of climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, sustainable energy use, related environmental issues and the need for a more sustainable and resilient city.
London's new Climate Emergency Action Plan contains more than 200 specific strategies and actions that support climate change mitigation and adaptation. This is in addition to programs and projects that are part of the City's regular operations such as the recycling program, LED streetlights, and maintenance of ongoing energy efficiency equipment in facilities.
The Climate Emergency Action Plan is a fundamental and required response to the City’s climate emergency declaration. The City has established new near-term and longer-term greenhouse gas reduction goals for both municipal operations and the community as a whole to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
London strives towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 supported by new science-based targets for 2030, 2035, and 2040.
Net-zero community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050
Improved resilience to climate change impacts
Bring everyone along (e.g., individuals, households, businesses, neighbourhoods)
As part of the Climate Emergency Action Plan, the City of London is committed to continue to provide Londoners with the latest information on local greenhouse gas emissions, the expected impacts of climate change, and the progress of the plan on an annual basis.
The City measures the community's progress through the annual Community Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory.
London’s Climate Emergency Action Plan has the following 1.5°C science-based greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for community-wide emissions:
55% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030
65% reduction by 2035
75% reduction by 2040
Net-zero emissions by 2050
London's total greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 were 30 percent lower than they were in 2005.
On average, in recent years, Londoners spent about $1.5 billion on energy. Every percentage that Londoners reduce their energy use results in around $13 million staying in London. Through conservation, efficiency, and more local energy production, more of this money can be kept in London.
The City measures the community's progress through the annual Corporate Energy Consumption and Activities Report.
London’s new Climate Emergency Action Plan has the following greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for corporate energy-related emissions:
65% reduction in total emissions from 2007 levels by 2030
75% reduction by 2035
90% reduction by 2040
Net-zero emissions by 2045
In 2020, corporate energy-related greenhouse gas emissions were 61% below what they were in 2007.
More information and data can be found on the City of London's Open Data public platform.
These impacts will only get worse if strong collective actions are not taken immediately. There are two primary types of responses to climate change:
Mitigating future impacts of climate change through reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Examples of recent City-led mitigation actions include:
In 2021, City staff began to use power-assisted bicycles (e-bikes) for uses such as parking enforcement and bylaw enforcement.
Five new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have been added to the City of London's vehicle fleet.
More than 15 kilometres of new bike lanes and 6.5 kilometres of new sidewalk are being constructed in 2022, and about 18 kilometres of existing sidewalks are being replaced.
The City is using a new electric powered zero emission utility truck to support setting up and maintaining small events on Dundas Place downtown.
The City is in the process of switching several diesel powered garbage collection trucks to over 30 new trucks powered by compressed natural gas.
The City’s first electric Zambonis have hit the ice as City arenas transition to an electric Zamboni fleet. Over the next four years, 12 of the City’s natural gas Zambonis will reach the end of their 10-year life span, where they will then transition to a fully electric fleet.
New LED light fixtures are being installed at various City arenas and community centers that will save up to 700 MWhs per year.
Adapting infrastructure, homes, buildings, landscapes, etc. to better withstand current and future impacts of more frequent severe weather events that are created from a climate that is wetter, warmer, and wilder.
Examples of recent City-led adaptation actions include:
Low-impact development projects help manage stormwater and continue to be considered on all infrastructure where applicable. The City has implemented 133 projects around London since 2017, including recently at East Lions Park.
The West London Dyke project currently protects 2,800 people from flooding, and planning is underway to extend the project south from the Forks of the Thames River to Cavendish Park.
The City is reconstructing Mud Creek with new improvements that will reduce flooding in the area. The project will also restore features of the existing wetland and habitat.
"Whereas climate change is currently contributing to billions of dollars in property and infrastructure damage worldwide, stressing local and international economies;
Whereas climate change is currently jeopardizing the health and survival of many species and other natural environments worldwide, stressing local and international eco systems;
Whereas climate change is currently harming human populations through rising sea levels and other extraordinary phenomena like intense wildfires worldwide, stressing local and international communities;
Whereas recent international research has indicated a need for massive reduction in carbon emissions in the next 11 years to avoid further and devastating economic, ecological, and societal loss;
Whereas the climate in Canada is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, as per Canada’s Changing Climate report;
Whereas current initiatives such as the greening of the city’s fleet and energy reduction initiatives are not sufficient to meet the targets as defined by the IPCC scientists,
Whereas an emergency can be defined as "an often dangerous situation requiring immediate action"; Whereas municipalities such as Kingston, Vancouver and Hamilton have already declared climate emergencies;
Therefore, a climate emergency BE DECLARED by the City of London for the purposes of naming, framing, and deepening our commitment to protecting our economy, our eco systems, and our community from climate change.”
There are choices that London residents, businesses, and employers can do to take climate action.
The first step you can take is to measure your household's carbon footprint. More than 1,000 London households have already used Project Neutral’s carbon calculator to create a personalized action plan, and start making a positive impact. Discover your carbon footprint in five minutes and better understand your climate impact.
The following “Top Five Actions” for residents were identified through London's Community Energy Action Plan engagement process. These represent choices that support City-led actions within the Climate Emergency Action Plan.
Reaching net-zero will also require big actions as well.
Enbridge and the Independent Electricity System Operator offer incentives for energy efficiency and conservation projects. Natural Resources Canada also offers incentives for energy management projects.
Businesses and institutions can also participate with a number of local partners: