Climate Change in Niagara

Climate change is a local, national and global issue affecting people and the environment. Niagara has already experienced the impacts of climate change and projections show that we can expect:

  • Increased temperatures
  • Higher precipitation
  • More extreme weather events

Although we all have a responsibility to act, municipalities play an important role. We can help to cut the carbon footprint and strengthen communities to manage climate change impacts.

In September 2021, Niagara Regional Council declared a climate change emergency. The motion required Regional staff to commit to action and:

  • Host a Climate Change Summit in 2022
  • Review Regional initiatives related to climate change in Niagara

Video: Youth Concerns on Climate Change

The Regional Chair's Youth Advisory Panel served as delegates at the first ever Niagara Climate Change Summit where they called upon community leaders to take action.

Vulnerable groups

According to the Ontario Climate Change and Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment, weather, climate change and other environmental elements affect health. People who are vulnerable to climate change are at a higher health risk.

In Niagara, the people most affected by climate change are:

  • Younger and older adults, such as infants, young children and older adults living in isolation
  • Populations with poor health and low mobility, such as chronic illness and physical challenges
  • Populations living with low to no income
  • Populations engaged in outdoor and labour-intense employment, such as farmers and construction workers
  • Populations living in urban areas with grey infrastructure, such as roads, dams and seawalls
  • Ethnic minorities and Indigenous community members
  • Pregnant women

What Niagara Region is doing

We're committed to reducing environmental impacts, protecting the health and well-being of Niagara residents, and sustainably managing resources. Since declaring a climate emergency, we have:

  • Updated our Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan to reduce use of electricity by 8 per cent and natural gas by 4.4 per cent by 2023
  • Included climate related objectives in the Niagara Official Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resiliency, further integrating climate change into Regional operations and services
  • Started upgrades to the Niagara Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant boiler to reduce carbon emissions by roughly 350 tonnes
  • Hosted a Climate Change Summit and signed a call to action to form partnerships, share critical data, and take action on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions in Niagara
  • Formed the corporate Climate Change Working Group to develop climate change projects, programs, policies and initiatives. The group will also implement the Niagara Region Climate Action Plan, once developed.
  • Started the Partners for Climate Protection Five-step Milestone Framework to reduce emissions, and to create a corporate greenhouse gas emission inventory and summary of Regional climate actions
  • Developed the Niagara Climate Change Action Network with local utilities, businesses, institutions and others working towards climate change action, energy performance and sustainability
  • Launched the Niagara Climate Change Municipal Community of Practice to work on climate resilience and adaptation, land development, energy management and local generation, biodiversity and green infrastructure

What you can do

  • Drive less: Carpool to work or take advantage of the Niagara Region Transit system
  • Eat locally: Support Niagara farmers and shop for local, seasonal produce
  • Stay informed: Stay up to date on what climate change action Niagara Region and your local municipality are taking
  • Speak up: Do you want to see your government take stronger climate action? Write to your local or regional councillors.

Certifications and memberships

Certification / membership Year acquired
Canada Green Building Council
Provides opportunities for organizations to get involved in shaping a more sustainable and resilient future.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Niagara Regional Police Service 1 Division Building
This is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. This building uses 40 per cent less water and 13.6 per cent less energy than conventional buildings.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Merrittville Emergency Medical Services Base
This building uses 30 per cent less water and 42 cent less energy than conventional buildings.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Provincial Offences Court Facility
This building uses 40 per cent less water and 30 per cent less energy than conventional buildings.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Niagara Regional Housing Building
This building uses 30 per cent less water and 48 per cent less energy than conventional buildings.
Partners for Climate Protection
Being a member of this program means being a part of a nationwide movement of municipalities dedicated to becoming leaders in local climate action.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Campbell East Building, Niagara Region Headquarters
The building uses 30 per cent less water and 32 cent less energy.
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