The City of Kitchener has exceeded its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals, and has been recognized for reaching the fifth and final milestone of the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program. PCP is a network of Canadian municipalities that have committed to reduce GHG emissions and protect the climate.
According to the final staff report on the Corporate Climate Action Plan GHG emissions were reduced by 20 per cent compared to 2016 levels and the next step is to incorporate the new Transform Waterloo Region community climate action plan into operations – aiming for a minimum 80 per cent reduction of carbon emissions from 2010 levels by 2050, with an interim goal of 50 per cent reduction by 2030 per person in our community.
“Our early completion of this goal recognizes our community’s desire to be ambitious when it comes to climate action and that Council and staff are fully committed to meaningfully pursue our new shared objectives within the Transform Waterloo Region plan,” said Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.
In 2018, PCP member municipalities voluntarily reported over 160 projects to reduce GHG emissions. These projects represent over 720,000 tonnes in annual GHG reductions — equivalent to taking over 150,000 passenger vehicles off the road for a year.
Benefits included about $2.88 million in annual cost savings generated by reducing emissions from streetlights and municipally owned vehicles and buildings. In Kitchener, the conversion of streetlights to LEDs in 2017 has led to a 69 per cent decrease in streetlighting GHGs.
Kitchener was recognized by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and ICLEI Canada, who manage the PCP program.
More information about the city’s efforts on climate action can be found at kitchener.ca/sustainability.