Last Tuesday, the Halifax Regional Council unanimously passed HalifACT 2050—the first major climate action plan to be announced by a Canadian authority during the pandemic.
The ambitious plan, which aims to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, recognizes the urgency of the climate crisis. Councillors who helped push it through highlighted the necessity of immediate action in spite of COVID-19-related uncertainties.
SSG and whatIf? Technologies performed the technical analysis that informed the plan, worked with Halifax to develop a suite of actions to reduce the city’s emissions, and co-authored the public report outlining the plan.
The action plan addresses both climate change and adaptation. It will see the region adopt a carbon budget; increase energy efficiency; improve public transportation and cycling infrastructure; switch to renewable energy sources and electric vehicles; plant trees and enhance green spaces; and prepare for climate hazards, such as sea level rise, storm surges, flooding and increased precipitation, and strong storms.
The plan prioritizes seven key low-carbon actions over the next five years:
- Retrofit and renewable energy programming
- Retrofit municipal buildings to be net-zero ready and climate resilient
- Electrification of transportation
- Net-zero standards for new buildings
- Risk and vulnerability assessments
- Capacity building for climate adaptation
- Sustainable financing strategy
To read more, visit the Halifax Regional Municipality website.