Durham Region is working to address climate change

Whitby, Ontario –Durham Region has been making important strides towards addressing climate change risks and opportunities.

“Municipalities have a critical role to play when it comes to climate change mitigation and adaptation. We are on the front lines of climate change impacts, which in Durham Region have included the recent flooding in some of our lakeside communities,” said John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “As a leader in the community, the Region is taking steps within its own corporate operations, assets and facilities to help address climate change, and is eager to partner with others to enable and scale-up broader community-wide action.”

Moving forward into 2020, the Region is focused on integrating climate action into economic and social development initiatives. The Region recognizes that, done properly, climate programs and policies will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and extreme weather impacts, while also creating new jobs and business opportunities.

We are building on a strong foundation of plans and programs, including:

  • Durham Region Official Plan, which guides municipal decisions on long-term growth and development and includes considerations relating to environmental sustainability and low carbon climate resilience.
  • Durham Community Climate Adaptation Plan (DCCAP), “Towards Resilience”, a collaborative plan developed in partnership with local area municipalities, Conservation Authorities, and other stakeholders. It received the Sustainable Communities Award from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in 2018.
  • Durham Community Energy Plan (DCEP), “The Clean Energy Economy in Durham”, which outlines six programs for implementation, including a deep energy retrofit program for existing buildings, and an electric vehicle strategy which includes EV chargers at Regional Headquarters.
  • Waste management initiatives, including a landfill mining pilot, and approval to develop an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility to divert organic materials from landfill to generate renewable energy through biogas production.
  • Backyard tree planning program: in partnership with a non-profit organization, the Region is collaborating with local area municipal partners to expand the availability of this program in 2020.
  • Climate change mitigation and environment reserve fund: a $5 million fund to support initiatives to enhance the Region’s response to climate change and environment concerns.

Additional initiatives were made possible via provincial and federal support, including:

  • Clean Water and Wastewater Fund: about $33 million in federal and provincial funding has been approved for various Regional water and sewer projects.
  • Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP): about $17.5 million in federal funding has been approved for various Regional transit projects, a large portion for the enhancement of Highway 2 PULSE, replacement and procurement of new fleet and commuter lot improvements.
  • Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program: approximately $2.2 million in provincial funding has been approved for various Regional cycling projects, which aim to achieve greater levels of active transportation within the Region.

More information about the Region’s initiatives can be found in report 2019-A-34 or visit the Climate Change and Extreme Weather section of our website at durham.ca.

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For more information, please contact Durham Region Corporate Communications.