London’s climate is changing, and climate change will affect London in many ways. 

How London is responding to climate change

City Council continues to recognize the importance of climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, sustainable energy use, related environmental issues and the need for a more sustainable and resilient city.

London's new Climate Emergency Action Plan contains more than 200 specific strategies and actions that support climate change mitigation and adaptation. This is in addition to programs and projects that are part of the City's regular operations such as the recycling program, LED streetlights, and maintenance of ongoing energy efficiency equipment in facilities. 


Climate Emergency Action Plan

The Climate Emergency Action Plan is a fundamental and required response to the City’s climate emergency declaration. The City has established new near-term and longer-term greenhouse gas reduction goals for both municipal operations and the community as a whole to mitigate and adapt to climate change. 

London strives towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 supported by new science-based targets for 2030, 2035, and 2040.

The new Climate Emergency Action Plan is a community-wide plan to achieve three main goals: 

  1. Net-zero community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 

  1. Improved resilience to climate change impacts 

  1. Bring everyone along (e.g., individuals, households, businesses, neighbourhoods) 

The complete Climate Emergency Action Plan can be read online, along with workplans and supporting documents that cover different areas of focus. 

Learn more about the Climate Emergency Action Plan 

Monitoring London’s progress, emissions, and energy conservation

As part of the Climate Emergency Action Plan, the City of London is committed to continue to provide Londoners with the latest information on local greenhouse gas emissions, the expected impacts of climate change, and the progress of the plan on an annual basis.  

Community energy use and greenhouse gas emissions  

The City measures the community's progress through the annual Community Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

Community Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory - Executive Summary

London’s  Climate Emergency Action Plan has the following 1.5°C science-based greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for community-wide emissions:  

  • 55% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030  

  • 65% reduction by 2035  

  • 75% reduction by 2040  

  • Net-zero emissions by 2050  

London's total greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 were 30 percent lower than they were in 2005.  

On average, in recent years, Londoners spent about $1.5 billion on energy. Every percentage that Londoners reduce their energy use results in around $13 million staying in London. Through conservation, efficiency, and more local energy production, more of this money can be kept in London.  

Corporate energy conservation and demand 

The City measures the community's progress through the annual Corporate Energy Consumption and Activities Report.  

Corporate Energy Consumption and Activities Report - Executive Summary

London’s new Climate Emergency Action Plan has the following greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for corporate energy-related emissions:  

  • 65% reduction in total emissions from 2007 levels by 2030   

  • 75% reduction by 2035  

  • 90% reduction by 2040  

  • Net-zero emissions by 2045  

In 2020, corporate energy-related greenhouse gas emissions were 61% below what they were in 2007. 

More information and data can be found on the City of London's Open Data public platform.

City of London Open Data

Mitigating and adapting to climate change's impacts

Climate change will affect London in several ways:

  • Severe weather damages including flooding, high winds, freezing rain and extreme temperatures
  • Increase in warmer-climate diseases like Lyme disease and West Nile virus
  • Increase in cost and decreased availability of food
  • Increase in health care costs from heat waves
  • Increase in property insurance costs
  • Loss of biodiversity

These impacts will only get worse if strong collective actions are not taken immediately. There are two primary types of responses to climate change: 

1. Mitigation

Mitigating future impacts of climate change through reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Examples of recent City-led mitigation actions include: 

  • In 2021, City staff began to use power-assisted bicycles (e-bikes) for uses such as parking enforcement and bylaw enforcement. 

  • Five new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have been added to the City of London's vehicle fleet. 

  • More than 15 kilometres of new bike lanes and 6.5 kilometres of new sidewalk are being constructed in 2022, and about 18 kilometres of existing sidewalks are being replaced.

  • The City is using a new electric powered zero emission utility truck to support setting up and maintaining small events on Dundas Place downtown.

  • The City is in the process of switching several diesel powered garbage collection trucks to over 30 new trucks powered by compressed natural gas.

  • The City’s first electric Zambonis have hit the ice as City arenas transition to an electric Zamboni fleet. Over the next four years, 12 of the City’s natural gas Zambonis will reach the end of their 10-year life span, where they will then transition to a fully electric fleet.

  • New LED light fixtures are being installed at various City arenas and community centers that will save up to 700 MWhs per year.

2. Adaptation

Adapting infrastructure, homes, buildings, landscapes, etc. to better withstand current and future impacts of more frequent severe weather events that are created from a climate that is wetter, warmer, and wilder.   

Examples of recent City-led adaptation actions include: 

  • Low-impact development projects help manage stormwater and continue to be considered on all infrastructure where applicable. The City has implemented 133 projects around London since 2017, including recently at East Lions Park.

  • The West London Dyke project currently protects 2,800 people from flooding, and planning is underway to extend the project south from the Forks of the Thames River to Cavendish Park.

  • The City is reconstructing Mud Creek with new improvements that will reduce flooding in the area. The project will also restore features of the existing wetland and habitat.

Our climate emergency declaration 

On April 23, 2019, the following Declaration of a Climate Emergency was approved by City Council.

"Whereas climate change is currently contributing to billions of dollars in property and infrastructure damage worldwide, stressing local and international economies;

Whereas climate change is currently jeopardizing the health and survival of many species and other natural environments worldwide, stressing local and international eco systems;

Whereas climate change is currently harming human populations through rising sea levels and other extraordinary phenomena like intense wildfires worldwide, stressing local and international communities;

Whereas recent international research has indicated a need for massive reduction in carbon emissions in the next 11 years to avoid further and devastating economic, ecological, and societal loss;

Whereas the climate in Canada is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, as per Canada’s Changing Climate report;

Whereas current initiatives such as the greening of the city’s fleet and energy reduction initiatives are not sufficient to meet the targets as defined by the IPCC scientists,

Whereas an emergency can be defined as "an often dangerous situation requiring immediate action"; Whereas municipalities such as Kingston, Vancouver and Hamilton have already declared climate emergencies;

Therefore, a climate emergency BE DECLARED by the City of London for the purposes of naming, framing, and deepening our commitment to protecting our economy, our eco systems, and our community from climate change.”


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An illustration of the earth with a pin located on London, Ontario, along with the words #LdnOnt Climate Action

How you can take climate action

There are choices that London residents, businesses, and employers can do to take climate action.

Measure your carbon footprint with Project Neutral

The first step you can take is to measure your household's carbon footprint. More than 1,000 London households have already used Project Neutral’s carbon calculator to create a personalized action plan, and start making a positive impact. Discover your carbon footprint in five minutes and better understand your climate impact.

Project Neutral

Actions residents can take

Ways to get started on climate action

The following “Top Five Actions” for residents were identified through London's Community Energy Action Plan engagement process. These represent choices that support City-led actions within the Climate Emergency Action Plan.

  1. Drive less, or not at all. Make more trips by walking, cycling, transit, and carpooling
  2. Reduce transportation impacts by switching to an electric vehicle, a hybrid vehicle, or a very fuel efficient one
  3. Make your home more energy efficient and severe weather resilient
  4. Reduce food waste, especially for high-impact foods such as red meat and dairy
  5. Go local for food, products, and vacations

Big steps to reach net-zero

Reaching net-zero will also require big actions as well. 

  • Buying an e-bike. E-bikes can be a practical and affordable alternative to using a car. Utility e-bikes, such as box bikes and cargo bikes, are ideal for picking up groceries. 
  • Buying an electric vehicle. With more than 90% of Ontario's power grid being emissions-free, electric vehicles have a big impact on reducing emissions. Learn more about incentives at plugndrive.ca
  • Installing a heat pump. A heat pump is an air conditioner that also provides heat, and they can reduce the amount of gas used by more than half. Incentives are available through the Canada Greener Homes program
  • Insulating your home. If you're replacing old siding on your home, add more insulation to the exterior at the same time. Incentives are available through Enbridge and the Canada Greener Homes program
  • Installing solar panels. Solar panels generate electricity or use directly in your home, with any left-over power being sent to the power grid as a credit. Paired with a battery, these can provide emergency power. Incentives are available through the Canada Greener Homes program
Actions businesses can take

Enbridge and the Independent Electricity System Operator offer incentives for energy efficiency and conservation projects. Natural Resources Canada also offers incentives for energy management projects.

Businesses and institutions can also participate with a number of local partners: