Climate Change Action Plan
York Region's Climate Change Action Plan provides an understanding of initiatives across the Region addressing climate change and builds on work underway by the Region, local municipalities and other stakeholders.
Everyone must play a part to combat Climate change including residents, businesses and governments to ensure a sustainable future. Climate change has both immediate and long-lasting impacts on our health care, human services, emergency services, natural systems, infrastructure and the economy. Changes to the climate are also impacting how we plan for the future of our communities.
York Region’s Climate Change Action Plan addresses mitigation and adaptation
The Climate Change Action Plan identifies 20 actions to advance work throughout York Region in both corporate and community activities to achieve the following outcomes:
- Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with the long-term goal of becoming a net-zero Region by 2050 (mitigation)
- Increase resiliency and capacity of the Region to withstand and respond to current and future climate events (adaptation)
Net zero can be achieved by either emitting no greenhouse gases or offsetting its emissions through actions like tree planting, employing technologies to capture carbon before it’s released into the air, among other ways (adapted from Government of Canada’s Climate Plan)
Addressing climate change through mitigation and adaptation supports cost-effective implementation and long-term resiliency of communities and is the best approach given the complex and evolving nature of climate change.
While York Region will continue to lead corporate actions, the Action Plan is well positioned to partner, support and influence climate change action in the community.
What is York Region doing?
The Climate Change Action Plan builds on current plans, programs and activities in anticipation of ongoing effects of climate change on York Region.
Current initiatives underway include:
Land use planning
- Implementing York Region Official Plan policies to support complete communities
Infrastructure and asset management
- Regional fleet electrification and installation of electric vehicle charging stations
- Integrating climate change considerations into the design of roads, water and wastewater systems
- Developing a flood risk assessment model for infrastructure in York Region
Natural heritage and forestry
- Implementing actions of the Greening Strategy that outlines programs and activities such as tree planting, stewardship, education and conserving natural lands
- The Forest Management Plan that cites the environmental benefits of Regional forests including helping reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide
- Developing the York Regional Forest Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Plan to identify and prioritize climate change actions
Emergency management programs and plans
- Educating York Region residents on emergency preparedness for severe weather events
- Integrating climate information and adaptation planning into emergency management programs and plans
- Organic waste reduction and resource recovery actions from the SM4RT Living Plan
- Implementation of circular programs identified in the Circular Economy Roadmap
- Supporting locally grown food through the Agriculture and Agri-Food Strategy
- Promoting green technology and low-carbon business enterprises in York Region
Health and wellbeing
- Sharing results of the Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment
- Review existing literature to identify adaptation strategies which support reduced climate-related health outcomes
- Implementing actions of the Corporate Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Tracking greenhouse gas emissions and progress of mitigation initiatives through annual Corporate Energy Reports
- Piloting the Sustainable Building Policy by applying it to new construction and retrofit projects
- Retrofitting York Region owned buildings
- Creating climate change action plans for 25 of York Region’s existing buildings
- Creating a Community Energy and Emissions Plan
How can I help lower carbon emissions?
While no one can solve the climate crisis alone, there are several actions you can do as a resident together with other community partners and governments to work towards net-zero emissions.
Some of the actions you can do to make a difference are:
- Take transit, walk and cycle to get to your destination
- Properly sort your curbside waste and donate or reuse items rather than dispose of them
- Use the Bindicator waste tool to find the best options for where waste should go
- Empty and scrape food from containers before putting them in the blue box
- Take batteries, cell phones and hazardous materials to a waste depot
- Use a reusable water bottle or mug for beverages and a reusable bag when shopping
- Drink tap water
- Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth – this can save up to 16 litres of water each time – and use water-efficient appliances and fixtures
- Choose local ingredients and buy fresh food at your local farmers’ market
- Be prepared for an emergency – review the Emergency Preparedness Guide
- Plant a tree or a forest through tree planting incentive programs offered in York Region
- Consider driving an electric vehicle (EV)
- Green your energy use at home by using smart thermostats and energy efficient appliances
Public consultation has taken place virtually. Catch up on what has been done so far.
Climate Change Action Plan Public Survey
York Region asked residents and stakeholders to share their experiences and expectations on climate change through an online survey.
See the results in the Climate Change Action Plan Public Survey: What You Said Report.
Thank you to everyone who participated. Your feedback was used to make sure the Region’s Climate Change Action Plan addresses climate-related issues that matter most to you and your community.
For any questions, please contact [email protected]
- Energy Reporting
- Climate Change and Health
- Regional Official Plan
- Circular Economy
- Greening Strategy
- Emergency Management
- Long Term Water Conservation Strategy