The City’s Environment and Climate Change Committee today received a progress report on the Climate Change Master Plan – Ottawa’s framework to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and respond to the current and future effects of climate change.
The City has made progress on seven of the plan’s eight priorities since the last update in October 2021, advancing many key projects and programs to reduce emissions and build climate resiliency. The City:
- Launched the Better Homes Ottawa Loan Program to help homeowners pay for home energy improvements
- Launched Better Buildings Ottawa to help large, privately owned buildings achieve deep energy retrofits
- Put Ottawa’s first four zero-emission buses into service
- Adopted the High Performance Development Standard to encourage the sustainable and resilient design of new buildings
- Included climate considerations in the City’s core asset management plans
- Installed 26 electric vehicle charging stations at 12 locations across the city, and two charging stations at Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex
- Identified 40 priority risks to be addressed in the next one to three years through the Climate Vulnerability and Risk Assessment
- Adopted the new Official Plan, which guides land-use planning, urban design, regulatory practice, building design and environmental protection
- Adopted Budget 2023, which, for the first time, applied a climate lens to capital budget requests, and provided stable, consistent funding of $5 million annually for the Climate Change Master Plan
The budget included more than $52 million of new investments with moderate or major climate contributions. The City has also secured more than $760 million of external funding to leverage its own investments over the coming years.
The report outlines strategies to help achieve the master plan vision, such as developing a climate change resource plan for consideration in future budgets and advocating to senior levels of government and external partners for accelerated, urgent climate action.
The results of the GHG emissions inventory for 2021 have been delayed to permit a full review of the inventory process to ensure methodologies and data sources align with best reporting practices. The inventories for 2021 and 2022 will be released after the review is completed later this year.
The Committee approved an updated timeline and work plan for the High Performance Development Standard, to account for delays resulting from recent provincial policy changes. The revised timeline would adjust the first three phases of implementation, with the first phase now taking effect on Saturday, July 1. The City would also adjust the work plan and next steps, and amend the Site Plan Control By-law in response to provincial policy. In anticipation of new energy performance requirements being added to the Ontario Building Code within the next year, staff would revise the High Performance Development Standard and supporting documents as required.
Staff provided an overview of how the City meets its legislated responsibility to provide safe, high quality drinking water to residents. Annual testing of municipal water systems shows the City consistently provides excellent quality drinking water that meets and exceeds all required standards. The City protects its drinking water supply by raising public awareness about and managing threats to drinking water resources. Drinking water quality annual reports and test results are available on ottawa.ca.
Items from this meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, April 26.