London’s climate is changing. We can expect that there will be more frequent snow squalls and river flooding events, plus warmer evening summer temperatures. Adapting to a changing climate requires taking action to protect our natural, built and social environments. Planning now will help Londoners and City workers reduce the negative impacts expected from extreme weather conditions. 

How London is responding

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.

The 2019-2023 Strategic Plan for the City of London contains more than 30 specific strategies and actions that support climate change mitigation and adaptation. This is in addition to programs and projects that are part of regular city operations such as the recycling program, LED streetlights, and maintenance of on-going energy efficiency equipment in facilities.

​​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.”

Climate change's impacts

Climate change may affect London in a number of 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 to curb greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the changes already occurring are not taken immediately.

Mitigating and adapting to climate change

There are two primary types of responses these impacts:

  1. Mitigation
    • Mitigating future impacts through reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxides, primarily as a result of the use of fossil fuels (e.g., gasoline for personal vehicles, natural gas to heat buildings).
  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. 

Climate Emergency Action Plan

The development of a Climate Emergency Action Plan is a fundamental and required response to the City of London’s climate emergency declaration. The City of London has proposed a more aggressive long-range greenhouse gas reduction goal for both municipal operations and the community as a whole to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Our new target will strive towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in London by the year 2050.

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

  1. Net-zero community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050
  2. Improved resilience to climate change impacts
  3. Bring everyone along (e.g., individuals, households, businesses, neighbourhoods)

The City is continuing to collect comments and feedback about London’s Climate Emergency Action Plan.

Get Involved and share comments 

 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

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