ClimateActionWR is focused on climate change mitigation in Waterloo Region. As a collaboration between local organizations and community members, we coordinate the activities of our community’s Climate Action Plans, measure and monitor progress on emissions reductions, and engage the community in climate action initiatives. ClimateActionWR is jointly led by Reep Green Solutions and Sustainable Waterloo Region, and is funded by the four major municipalities within Waterloo Region.
Our community’s long-term goal is to achieve an 80% greenhouse gas emission reduction below 2010 levels by 2050. The first step to achieving this long-term goal is to achieve a 6% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2020.
The First Step: 6% by 2020
The ClimateActionWR journey began in 2009, when Reep Green Solutions, Sustainable Waterloo Region, the Region of Waterloo, and the University of Waterloo first conducted a study on a community greenhouse gas reduction action plan and target.
In 2013, a collaboration between ClimateActionWR, the Region of Waterloo, and the Cities of Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo led to the first Climate Action Plan for Waterloo Region. This Climate Action Plan aims to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions by 6% below 2010 levels by 2020.
Why 6% by 2020?
It’s ambitious, and it’s achievable. ClimateActionWR’s target of 6% below 2010 levels by 2020 is based on an inventory of Waterloo Region’s greenhouse gas emissions completed in May of 2012. This community-scale inventory shows the “carbon footprint” of Waterloo Region through the lens of five key sectors: transportation, workplaces, homes, agriculture, and waste. Read the full inventory report here.
Long-term Climate Action Strategy: 80% by 2050
Alongside community members, local organizations, subject matter experts, and technical experts from across the region and beyond, we are working to develop a plan for transitioning Waterloo Region to a low-carbon community by 2050. Using a backcasting approach, together we will create a long-term Climate Action Strategy to achieve at least an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050, as well as an accompanying short-term Climate Action Plan to establish the road map for the first ten years (2020 – 2030).
By December 2020, the final long-term strategy and short-term plan to achieve Waterloo Region’s 80% greenhouse gas emission reduction goal will be completed and shared with the community.
This work is made possible by the generous support from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Transition 2050 grant and the ongoing support of all eight regional municipalities (Region of Waterloo, Cambridge, Kitchener, North Dumfries, Waterloo, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich).
Waterloo Region’s Progress So Far
Our community reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% between 2010 and 2015!
After completing a re-inventory of our community’s carbon footprint, we found that reductions in emissions related to workplaces and homes are responsible for most of our community’s success. Local efforts to improve efficiency and reduce consumption have complemented the impact of the provincial phase-out of coal from our electricity grid.
Countering these reductions, local transportation emissions grew substantially as vehicle ownership rose at twice the rate of population growth and resulted in more vehicles on the road per person than in 2010.
The full reported findings are published in our progress report, Our Progress, Our Path.
- Read the full report here.
- For more information on how our emissions break down into sectors, check out our resources page.
The target deadline of the end of 2020 is fast approaching!
In 2021, another re-inventory of Waterloo Region’s carbon footprint will be completed, which will provide a comprehensive view of the 10-year target. At that time, we will learn the results of Waterloo Region’s progress towards achieving our initial 6% target, and how we can continue forward towards our 80% target by 2050.
Want to get involved?
Make a Climate Action Pledge, and check our Get Involved page for opportunities to take climate action!
Get our Community Action Report
Stay up to date on progress towards our goal