Climate Resilient Burlington

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On April 23, 2019, Burlington City Council declared a climate emergency “for the purposes of deepening our commitment to protecting our economy, environment and community from climate change.”

Burlington is one of many local governments planning actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within city operations and community wide to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. However, we must also do what we can to adapt to our changing climate which is projected to be warmer, wetter and wilder.

Actions related to climate adaptation are already being carried out locally. Developing Climate Resilient Burlington: A Plan for Adapting to Our Warmer, Wetter and Wilder Weather, will help identify additional vulnerabilities and risks requiring further attention and align actions to plan for our changing climate.

On April 23, 2019, Burlington City Council declared a climate emergency “for the purposes of deepening our commitment to protecting our economy, environment and community from climate change.”

Burlington is one of many local governments planning actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within city operations and community wide to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. However, we must also do what we can to adapt to our changing climate which is projected to be warmer, wetter and wilder.

Actions related to climate adaptation are already being carried out locally. Developing Climate Resilient Burlington: A Plan for Adapting to Our Warmer, Wetter and Wilder Weather, will help identify additional vulnerabilities and risks requiring further attention and align actions to plan for our changing climate.

  • Climate Resilient Burlington plan approved by Burlington City Council

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    Burlington City Council has approved Climate Resilient Burlington: A Plan for Adapting to Our Warmer, Wetter and Wilder Weather. This plan identifies Burlington’s risks and vulnerabilities from climate change and is directly related to 2018-2022 Burlington’s Plan: From Vision to Focus.

    About the Climate Resilient Burlington plan

    The purpose of the Climate Resilient Burlington (CRB) plan is to identify actions to manage the highest risks of warmer, wetter and wilder weather. While the CRB plan considers Burlington’s climate projections to the years 2051-2080 under a high emissions scenario, the plan outlines 32 actions under five themes focusing on building resilience and preparing for a changing climate over the next 10 years. Although this is Burlington’s first climate adaptation plan, work is not starting from scratch, but rather building on initiatives already underway.

    The CRB plan was developed with City staff and community stakeholders representing 12 City departments and 17 community organizations. The community was also engaged throughout the process through a number of measures including a dedicated project page, a public project launch and surveys.

    CRB Themes and Goals

    Theme 1: Resilient Built and Natural Infrastructure
    Goal: Manage infrastructure to prepare for future climate conditions and carbon neutral goals
    Goal: Enhance resilience of infrastructure exposed to high flood risk
    Goal: Invest in proactive measures to prepare for increased extreme events to avoid post-storm reactive costs

    Theme 2: Thriving Natural Environment
    Goal: Reduce damage to trees while increasing the value of the services they provide
    Goal: Value, conserve and enhance the multiple services that natural areas provide

    Theme 3: Extreme Heat and Health
    Goal: Provide City services to support the community during extreme heat events

    Theme 4: Disaster Resilience
    Goal: Build capacity in the community to prepare for and respond to more extreme events and long-term climate stresses
    Goal: Encourage climate adaptation actions from citizens and businesses

    Theme 5: Strong and Resilient Economy
    Goal: Support agricultural community in preparing for climate change
    Goal: Support and develop resilient local supply chains to help withstand impacts associated with extreme climate events outside of Burlington

    Projects with links to climate actions underway

    There are several climate actions already underway through various City departments and projects. Each item listed has a direct link to reducing risk, reducing emissions or preparing for climate change effects.

    • Alert Burlington – Community Notification System
    • Cooling and Warming Centres in partnership with Burlington Public Library
    • Home Flood Protection Assessment Program
    • Plumbing Permit Fee Grant Program
    • Stormwater infrastructure improvements such as larger creek culverts and creek channel improvements
    • Burlington Stormwater Management Design Guidelines
    • Urban Forest Master Plan
    • Municipal Natural Assets Initiative – Grindstone Creek Watershed Project
    • Spencer Smith Park and Beachway stabilization and wave breaks
    • Asset Management Plan
    • Climate Action Plan (focusing on reducing community emissions)
    • Corporate Energy and Emissions Management Plan
    • City View Park pavilion and solar installation
    • Anti-idling campaign and bylaw
    • Expansion of the City’s electric vehicle charging stations
    • Electric Mobility Strategy
    • Corporate Green Fleet Strategy
    • Integrated Mobility Plan (focusing on active and public transportation)
    • Rural Active Transportation Strategy
    • Cycling Plan, a component of the Integrated Mobility Plan, which includes projects such as the Plains Road bikeway improvements
    • Major Transit Station Areas (MTSA)
    • Other projects
  • Climate Resilient Plan to be considered

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    Burlington’s first plan on climate adaptation called Climate Resilient Burlington: A Plan for Adapting to Our Warmer, Wetter and Wilder Weather will be considered at the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services (EICS) committee meeting on July 7, 2022. The plan was first presented as a draft to the EICS committee on May 5, 2022.

    Background

    The purpose of the Climate Resilient Burlington (CRB) plan is to identify actions to manage the highest risks of warmer, wetter and wilder weather. While the CRB plan considers Burlington’s climate projections to the years 2051-2080 under a high emissions scenario, the plan outlines 32 actions under five themes focusing on building resilience and preparing for a changing climate over the next 10 years. Although this is Burlington’s first climate adaptation plan, work is not starting from scratch, but rather building on initiatives already underway.

    Plan Development

    The CRB plan was developed with City staff and community stakeholders representing 12 City departments and 17 community organizations. The community was also engaged throughout the process through a number of measures including a dedicated project page, a public project launch and surveys.

    A more detailed follow-up post will be published should City Council approve the plan on July 12, 2022.

  • Climate Resilient Burlington: A Plan for Adapting to Our Warmer, Wetter and Wilder Weather - Draft Plan Available for Review

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    Climate Resilient Burlington (CRB): A Plan for Adapting to Our Warmer, Wetter and Wilder Weather identifies actions to manage the highest risks of warmer, wetter and wilder weather. While the CRB plan considers Burlington’s climate projections to the years 2051-2080 under a high emissions scenario, the plan outlines actions to focus on over the next 10 years to build resilience and prepare for a changing climate. It should be noted that many of the actions are building on work already underway and referred to in the plan under ‘related initiatives.’

    The CRB plan was developed using a bottom-up approach with 49 City staff and community stakeholders representing 12 City departments and 17 community organizations through 15 workshops between September 2021 and January 2022 as well as additional follow-up. The community was also engaged through a dedicated CRB page on the Get Involved Burlington portal, a survey on the vision and principles of the CRB, and a public launch in October 2021.

    The draft CRB plan is now available and will be presented to the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services (EICS) Committee on May 5, 2022. If you would like to speak to City Council about the staff report and plan, you may register to delegate.

    Please consider providing your feedback through the current surveys which are divided into two sections:

    1. City of Burlington Actions: 32 actions listed within five themes (one survey per theme)
    2. Citizen Action Checklists and proposed future Community Climate Resilience Education Program (one survey)

    You can choose to respond to one or more surveys, which are open until May 8 at 11:59 p.m.

    The final CRB plan will be presented to the EICS Committee in July 2022.

  • City of Burlington awarded high marks for carbon disclosure and climate change efforts

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    The City of Burlington is pleased to announce it has received a B grade for climate action efforts from the Climate Disclosure Project (CDP). This is the first time the City has received a grade. CDP is a non-profit charity and provides a global disclosure climate action reporting platform for businesses and all levels of government.

    The City reported its progress on the implementation of the community-based Climate Action Plan, the community emissions inventory and carbon reduction target. CDP awarded the City a B for its reporting, recognizing its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change.

    Reporting through the CDP platform helps the City to meet its reporting requirements for the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM), the largest global alliance for city climate leadership across the globe. The City joined GCoM in 2020 and was one of 25 Canadian municipalities to participate in Showcase Cities, a program hosted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Partners for Climate Protection program and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. The program was designed to support municipalities in their actions to meet the requirements of GCoM.

  • Watch the Launch Video

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    Watch the Climate Resilient Burlington launch event with David Phillips who through factual and entertaining storytelling highlighted what’s happening to our weather, what should we be worried about, and what we can do to make a difference and be better prepared.


  • Join Us on October 27 for a Virtual Launch

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    The City of Burlington is hosting a virtual launch of Climate Resilient Burlington (CRB): A Plan for Adapting to Our Warmer, Wetter and Wilder Weather with a free online event.

    In the online event, participants will learn more about the CRB project and hear from keynote speaker David Phillips, Senior Climatologist, Environment and Climate Change Canada as he presents “Weather and Climate: It’s Not What Our Grandparents Knew.” Participants will have an opportunity to ask David questions after his presentation.

    Canadians love to talk about weather. In the past, we used to take comfort in a relatively predictable climate where winters were cold, summers were hot and when the term ‘April showers bring May flowers’ didn’t include the fear of torrential downpours and flooding. Burlington has not been unscathed and on Aug. 4, 2014, 190 mm of rain fell resulting in over 3,000 properties being flooded. Through David’s factual and entertaining storytelling presentation, David will highlight what’s happening to our weather, what should we be worried about, and what we can do to make a difference and be better prepared.


    Date: Oct. 27, 2021
    Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
    Location: Online.

    About David Phillips

    David has been employed with Environment Canada's weather service for 50 years. His work activities relate to the study of the climate of Canada and to promote awareness and understanding of meteorology. He has published several books, papers and reports, including a book on The Climates of Canada, and two bestsellers: The Day Niagara Falls Ran Dry and Blame It On The Weather. He was the originator and author of the Canadian Weather Trivia Calendar. David frequently appears on national radio and television as a commentator on weather and climate matters. He has been awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, the Queen Elizabeth Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals and has twice received the Public Service Merit Award. David is the recipient of three honorary doctorates from the universities of Waterloo and Windsor and Nipissing University. In 2001, David was named to the Order of Canada.

    About Climate Resilience Burlington

    On April 23, 2019, Burlington City Council declared a climate emergency “for the purposes of deepening our commitment to protecting our economy, environment and community from climate change.”

    Burlington is one of many local governments planning actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within city operations and community-wide to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. However, we must also do what we can to adapt to our changing climate which is projected to be warmer, wetter and wilder.

    Actions related to climate adaptation are already being carried out locally. Developing Climate Resilient Burlington: A Plan for Adapting to Our Warmer, Wetter and Wilder Weather, will help identify additional vulnerabilities and risks requiring further attention and align actions to plan for our changing climate.


  • Join us for the Virtual Project Launch Event – Oct. 27

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    Join us on Wednesday, October 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. for the virtual Climate Resilient Burlington (CRB) project launch event.

    Register now

    • Our keynote speaker David Phillips, Senior Climatologist, Environment and Climate Change Canada, will present "Weather and Climate: It's Not What Our Grandparents Knew" followed by a Q&A session.
    • Learn more about CRB and how you can get involved.
  • Learn about the Project

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    On March 4, 2021, City staff presented the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee with a staff report introducing the work done to date on the Climate Resilient Burlington project. Also included with the report were:


    • Climate Projections for Burlington Region which highlighted Burlington’s baseline data (1976-2005) under the categories of temperature, hot weather, cold weather, precipitation and agriculture with future projections (2021-2050 and 2051-2080) under lower and higher (business as usual) greenhouse gas emission scenarios using the Climate Atlas of Canada. Data for extreme weather and Lake Ontario was also included where available from additional sources.



    The Climate Change Impacts Story Map was also released which showcases historical weather events in Burlington which could become more frequent in the future.

Page last updated: 11 Nov 2022, 09:23 AM