LONDON, Ont. -- City hall has unveiled a bold action plan to address climate change with the goal to make London a net-zero greenhouse gas community by 2050.

Director of Environment, Fleet & Solid Waste, Jay Stanford, says despite success reducing GHG emissions, the greatest effort lies ahead.

"We’ve really only grabbed the low-hanging fruit. The heavy lifting is still yet to come because the numbers are still showing we need to lower our greenhouse gas emissions.”

In April, council joined other municipal governments declaring a “climate emergency.”

Since then staff have developed a list of actions to take immediately, within four months, and within one year.

They include:


  • set 2050 target to be GHG net-zero community
  • establish internal city hall team from all service areas
  • launch development of Climate Emergency Action Plan
  • develop an interim screening Climate Emergency Evaluation Tool (CEET)
  • create climate emergency area on city website
  • all city hall departments to identify immediate opportunities

Four months

  • screen major transportation projects using CEET
  • seek out new funding for climate emergency initiatives

One year

  • review all major city projects and master plans using CEET
  • advance urban forestry strategy and tree planting
  • establish tools to encourage green/cool roofs or rooftop solar by developers

City Planner John Fleming says cities can have a big role fighting climate change.

"There’s about 1,200 cities around the globe that have declared a climate emergency, and that constitutes about 300 million people.”

City staff warn Londoners will face “warmer, wetter, weather with increased likelihood and intensity of severe weather events," and every person will experience “real and tangible” health, economic, and environmental impacts.

Additional costs to address the climate emergency will be determined through development of the "Climate Emergency Action Plan” in 2020.

City council will discuss the strategy to address its declaration of a “climate emergency” next week.