The science is clear: If we want to avoid the worst effects of a heating world, we have to curb our greenhouse gas emissions in a big way, and we have to do it now.
The good news is that the technical and policy solutions for reducing emissions already exist, and our governments can choose to implement them with an aim to reach a zero-carbon future by 2050. In Canada, some municipal governments have started referring to these solutions as “big moves” or “big shifts.”
Big moves are emission-reduction strategies that target sectors that emit the most: transportation and buildings. Big moves are ambitious and challenging. They may not always be simple to implement, but with strong support and thoughtful planning, they can bring real change.
Here are some of the solutions municipal governments are implementing. For more information on this, see our climate plan assessment guide.
Solutions in action
Throughout Canada, municipalities are identifying and implementing big moves that will help them achieve zero emissions by 2050. Here are a few examples:
- By 2030, emissions from Vancouver’s buildings will be cut in half as the city moves away from natural gas and toward energy efficiency and electric heat pumps.
- Halifax has committed to deep-energy retrofits for 100 per cent of residential and commercial buildings by 2040.
- Montreal will reduce building heating from natural gas and eliminate oil-based heating. One hundred per cent of municipal building stock operations will be zero carbon by 2030.
- The City of Regina has committed to being a 100 per cent renewable city by 2050.
- By 2040, 80 per cent of the vehicles on Toronto roads will be zero emission.
- The Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia’s climate plan includes measures to reduce the energy poverty rate by 20 per cent by 2025, and by more than 60 per cent by 2030.
Big moves require strong plans for action
Even the most innovative solutions won’t be effective without solid plans for implementation. If you want to work with your local government to take action on climate, you’ll want to look closely at your municipal climate plan and make sure it’s strong enough to have an impact.
This resource is part of Your voice at the table: A guide to mobilizing local government climate action. Learn to work with your local government so you can build a healthy, sustainable, resilient future together.