Climate Change and Sustainability

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Four photos: rain barrel, cyclist, trees, solar panels.

Climate Change and Sustainability is a forum to allow for shared ideas among residents, businesses, and city staff to advance sustainability and climate action goals.

To achieve success in limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapting to an altering local climate, we need our whole community to be part of the solution. The City of Peterborough is committed to protecting our community, its economy, and its environment from climate change.

Get Involved!

We invite you to use this forum to stay informed and share your ideas by connecting with your fellow community members. There are several ways to provide input by filling out the Surveys, Share Ideas, and Open Comment tabs.

Everyone in Peterborough has a part to play to prevent climate change from accelerating and impacting our city. The municipality is stepping up to the plate to support residents and businesses transitioning to low-carbon lifestyles and business practices. We want to work with individuals who are changing lifestyles, making improvements at home or work, and recognizing that a more sustainable community is better for everyone and the planet.

Climate Change and Sustainability is a forum to allow for shared ideas among residents, businesses, and city staff to advance sustainability and climate action goals.

To achieve success in limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapting to an altering local climate, we need our whole community to be part of the solution. The City of Peterborough is committed to protecting our community, its economy, and its environment from climate change.

Get Involved!

We invite you to use this forum to stay informed and share your ideas by connecting with your fellow community members. There are several ways to provide input by filling out the Surveys, Share Ideas, and Open Comment tabs.

Everyone in Peterborough has a part to play to prevent climate change from accelerating and impacting our city. The municipality is stepping up to the plate to support residents and businesses transitioning to low-carbon lifestyles and business practices. We want to work with individuals who are changing lifestyles, making improvements at home or work, and recognizing that a more sustainable community is better for everyone and the planet.

  • Green Economy Peterborough

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    Green Economy Peterborough (GEP) is a regional economic hub to help businesses reduce costs, improve brand image, and activate employee and customer loyalty through green initiatives, such as energy and water efficiency, and waste reduction.

    A project of GreenUP, the local network taps into the expertise of local and national partners - including Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, Green Economy Canada, and the City of Peterborough - to achieve its ultimate aim of building sustainability and resiliency into local business strategy and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy.

    At its core, GEP is a business network; one where members share experiences, learn together, identify opportunities and publicly celebrate success. Once members, businesses set, achieve and ultimately reap the rewards of beneficial green targets.

    GEP supports organizations in overcoming challenges related to capacity and knowledge through coaching, peer learning events, and access to credible tools & resources.

    If your business is interested in joining Green Economy Peterborough, please contact natalie.stephenson@greenup.on.ca or visit the website at https://www.greenup.on.ca/green-economy-peterborough/

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  • Business Energy and Emissions Profile

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    The Business Energy and Emission Profile (BEEP) is a map-based visualization tool that models the impact of commercial energy use on GHG emissions from Peterborough's business community. A BEEP was created for Peterborough in June 2020 by Vancouver based ClimateSmart. The profile will support Green Economy Peterborough, a low-carbon business hub, to identify areas within the city with high energy consumers. The BEEP dashboard displays business size, sector, and energy activity that the user can select for a given business type or location in Peterborough. There is also an option to evaluate electricity use, building energy, commercial fleets, and operational waste for each business sector.

    To access the BEEP go to, http://peterborough.beep.eco/

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  • Climate Change Emergency Declaration

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    Climate Change Emergency Declaration

    On September 23, 2019, Council heard from over 20 delegations calling for the declaration for the purpose of naming, framing and deepening our commitment to protecting our community, its economy, and its ecosystems from climate change.

    Declaration

    Whereas:

    1. Climate change is the greatest crisis of our times worldwide, harming human and animal populations through extreme storms, severe flooding, record heat waves, prolonged droughts, and other natural disasters
    2. Climate change is contributing to billions of dollars in property and infrastructure damage worldwide and is viewed as the major public health threat in Canada for cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses and deaths
    3. International research has concluded that there is a need for massive carbon emissions reductions within the next 11 years to avoid further devastating damage to our environment, economy, and society
    4. Over 450 local governments, including 40 Canadian communities such as Ottawa, London, Hamilton, and Kingston have acknowledged this urgency by officially declaring a climate emergency. They are committed to action to drive down emissions at emergency speed. These Climate Emergency Declarations importantly involve the public and serve as Calls to Action by the Community as well as by Council and other levels of government.

    Therefore be it resolved:

    That Council, pursuant to its authority under section 10 of the Municipal Act, 2001, hereby declares a climate emergency within the City of Peterborough for the purpose of naming, framing and deepening our commitment to protecting our community, its economy, and its ecosystems from climate change, and,

    That staff, working with the PEAC, be requested to also report on the opportunities to:

    1. Greatly accelerate timelines for our existing actions to reduce the effects of climate change;
    2. Add new actions and proposals to reduce greatly our GHG emissions;
    3. Identify the budgetary implications of proposed actions, including opportunities to engage all other levels of government and private sources, to combat climate change;
    4. Incorporate a climate change lens into all city actions and policies recognizing the need to achieve a target of 45% GHG emission reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050;
    5. Engage and educate the general public regarding this crisis to support the city’s efforts to meet these goals.

    This Climate Change and Sustainability forum is a direct result of climate emergency declaration's fifth clause.

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  • Renewable energy projects

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    The City of Peterborough is committed to expanding renewable energy sources within its operations. The following energy projects have been developed over the past decade.

    Kinsmen Arena solar array

    In August 2016, Peterborough Utilities Inc. installed 1,544 solar panel on the Kinsmen Arena roof. The project generated 535,781 kilowatt hours of renewable energy in 2018, which is the equivalent to powering 92 homes per year.


    Landfill biogas generator

    A biogas generator was constructed at the Peterborough landfill in 2013, in partnership with Peterborough Utilities Inc.. The biogas generator captures methane gas, a by-product of decomposing waste, and is collected through a network of pipes in the landfill to be burned. Controlled combustion of the gas produces usable electricity to power the facility and the remaining energy sold to the Ontario electrical grid. In 2018, the biogas generator produced 4,188,715 kilowatt hours of electricity, which is the equivalent electricity used by 727 homes annually. However, if the methane gas was not captured then 2,250 tCH4 (56,246 tCO2e) more GHG emissions would have been released. This is compared to present ability of the biogas collector to seize 75% of methane gas within the landfill before it releases 562 tCH4 (14,061 tCO2e) into the atmosphere.

    Wastewater biogas generator

    In 2016, a 380 kilowatt combined heat and power unit was installed at the Wastewater Treatment Plant in collaboration with Peterborough Utilities Inc. to extract methane gas produced from the waste. The biogas generator produced 2,197,914 kilowatt hours of electricity, which is the equivalent energy used by 381 homes per year.


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  • Greening city operations

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    Learn more about some of the action the City of Peterborough has completed to become a more sustainable municipality.

    Electric vehicle charging stations

    In partnership with Peterborough Utilities Inc., the City of Peterborough installed electric vehicle charging stations at the following locations throughout the city.
    • Riverview park & zoo – a level 2 station
    • Lansdowne Place mall – a level 2 & level 3 station
    • King Street parking garage – two level 2 stations
    • Memorial Centre – a level 2 station
    Active transportation

    The City has invested in more than 70 kilometers of cycling lanes and multi-use trails since 2018. Active travel improves physical health and reduce emissions by avoiding vehicle commutes.

    City-wide streetlight project

    In 2018, 7,205 streetlights were converted to adaptive LED lighting standards. This project generated an energy savings of 4,944,930.6 kWh and reduced the streetlights energy consumption by 80%. This retrofit savings is the equivalent energy used by 858 homes annually.

    Fuel switching at City arenas

    All gasoline powered ice edgers at the arenas have been replaced with electric ice edgers as of 2019. Powered by a rechargeable battery, the edger is emission-free and environmentally friendly.

    Incentive toilet replacement program

    The City of Peterborough offers a $50 rebate program for homeowners to install low-flow toilets. Complete our online rebate application form to receive your $50 rebate.

    Solar parking meters

    Solar powered pay and display parking meters were installed in the downtown and reduce the City's energy consumption.

    Public transit

    Public transit ridership increased significantly by 18% in 2018. It is estimated that just over 11 million vehicle-kilometers of travel has been avoided resulting in just over 2,000 tonnes of GHG emissions avoided.



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  • Foundational climate and sustainability plans

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    In 2016, Sustainable Peterborough developed a Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) for Peterborough and the surrounding townships. The objective of the CCAP is to reduce Peterborough’s GHG emissions, lessen our reliance on fossil fuels, lower our total energy consumption, and adapt to our changing climate. The CCAP identified specific climate actions to support our GHG emissions reduction target of 30% by 2031 from 2011 emission levels.

    "We willCover of Greater Peterborough Area Sustainability Plan reduce our contributions to climate change while increasing our ability to adapt to climate change conditions." - CCAP vision statement

    Preceding the CCAP, Peterborough developed Our Community Sustainability Plan. This plan looks 25 years into the future to envision what kind of place residents would like to live in. Energy, climate change, water, economic development, employment, waste, transportation, and land-use planning are among the plan's themes.

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