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About Bay Area Climate Change Council

About BACCC

BACCC harnesses the power of the community to fight climate change. Our strength lies in collaboration and the diverse expertise of our member organizations.

In 2017, the Mayors of Burlington and Hamilton vowed to work together on a regional approach to climate action. Both Cities came together with Mohawk College to open the Bay Area Climate Change Office (BACCO).

In its first year, BACCO commissioned a regional greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and conducted a community engagement program to help set direction for climate action in the region. The report recommended BACCO establish the Bay Area Climate Change Council (BACCC) with representation from multiple sectors.

BACCC harnesses the power of the community to fight climate change. Our strength lies in collaboration and the diverse expertise of our member organizations.

We are supported by the Cities of Hamilton and Burlington and administratively housed at Mohawk College in the Centre for Climate Change Management.

Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted through human activities. Science tells us that to avoid the most catastrophic effects of a changing climate, we must transition to net zero carbon by 2050. 

9.85 million tonnes of carbon were emitted in the Hamilton Burlington Bay Area in 2016.

If the Bay Area is to reach net zero by 2050, the top sources of emissions must be eliminated — even as our population continues to grow. A low-carbon future for both Hamilton and Burlington requires changes to new and existing buildings, transportation networks, local industry and energy sources. Developing and advocating for climate policies that would effectively reduce emissions in these sectors is BACCC’s main focus.

Regional GHG Inventory


The regional greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory measures the emissions currently caused by everyday activities across the Bay Area communities. It also forecasts potential future emissions depending on which actions are taken. BACCC uses the GHG inventory to identify actions with the highest potential for reducing local emissions. The leading sources of emissions in our region are from transportation, buildings, and industry. Learn more about our focus areas.

2024-2026 Strategic Plan

We have a new Strategic Plan which was approved by Council in March of 2024. The plan defines our direction for the next three years.

Theory of Change

To reach net zero carbon by 2050, BACCC is working with partners to cut carbon emissions in both Bay Area communities by 50% by the year 2030. This will require big changes to new and existing buildings, transportation networks, local industry and a focus on low emissions energy. This includes:

  • Improving low carbon modes of transportation
  • Reduce vehicle kilometers travelled
  • Increasing zero carbon vehicle uptake
  • Retrofitting existing buildings
  • Building new buildings to a zero carbon standard
  • Reducing local industrial emissions through innovation
  • Connecting industry with research and development (R&D)
  • Understanding the energy needs of the Bay Area
  • Ensuring energy needs are met

Learn more about our plan to cut emissions in the Bay Area.

Text Version of Theory of Change

Goals:

Hamilton & Burlington Net-Zero Communities by 2050. By 2030, reduce GHG emissions by 50% from the 2016 baseline.

Focus:

The Big Three = 95% of Emissions in the Bay Area:

  • Transportation = 17% of Emissions
  • Buildings = 18% of Emissions
  • Industry = 60% of Emissions

Energy: Decarbonization of the Big Three rests on a foundation of low emissions energy.

Initiatives:

Our Initiatives for Transportation:

  1. Improve Low-Carbon Choices (like biking, walking and public transit)
  2. Reduce Vehicle KMs Traveled
  3. Increase Zero Carbon Vehicle Uptake

Our Initiatives for Buildings:

  1. Retrofit Existing Buildings
  2. Net Zero New Buildings

Our Initiatives for Industry:

  1. Reduce Emissions through Innovation
  2. Connect Industry with Research and Development

Our Initiatives for Energy:

  1. Understand Energy Needs
  2. Ensure Energy Needs are Met

How?

  1. Establish Clear Pathways to Emissions Reductions: Engage the community, develop policy solutions, connect industry with research and development.
  2. Advocate for Innovation, Funding and Support: Hold decision-makers at all levels accountable for climate targets.
  3. Support Market Transformation: Work with local business and industry to build capacity and support their transition to a low carbon economy.

2023 Annual Report

To learn more about BACCC’s year in review, view our 2023 Annual Report. Thank you to our members, funders and community for making 2023 a success. We hope 2024 brings continued collaboration and commitment in moving the needle on climate action in the Bay Area.

Directory

Staff

Headshot of BACCC Manager Jesse Elders

Jesse Elders (she/her),

BACCC Manager

Jesse leads the Bay Area Climate Change Council. She is responsible for the overall management of the collective, including the development and execution of BACCC’s strategic plan, supervision of its staff team, and oversight of its budget and operations. Jesse holds a Honours Bachelor of Arts and a Doctor of Law Degree from the University of Toronto. Prior to working with BACCC, Jesse practiced law in the private sector, with leadership responsibilities as a partner of a boutique law firm. Outside of her work with BACCC, Jesse serves as a director of several local not-for-profit organizations.

Headshot of BACCC Program Coordinator Julia McLeod

Julia McLeod (she/her),

BACCC Program Coordinator

Julia is responsible for overseeing BACCC’s communications, administration and project management work. Julia strongly believes that engaging the community and stakeholders on climate change action is necessary to achieve the Bay Area’s target of net zero carbon by 2050. Julia holds a Master of Environment and Business from University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Science from Western University. She has experience collaborating with local businesses and community events on sustainability initiatives and achieving greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

Peyton Alexander (she/her),

BACCC Junior Communications Coordinator

Peyton is responsible for supporting BACCC’s communications projects and strategies. She is a dedicated and enthusiastic geographer and environmentalist, with experience in various environmentally focused communications roles. Peyton is a graduate of the Environmental Visual Communication program at Fleming College and has a degree from the University of Toronto with a double major in Human Geography and Public Policy. She is deeply passionate about combating climate change, environmental advocacy and conservation. 

Sarah Syed (she/her),

BACCC Junior Communications Coordinator

Sarah Syed, is a 19-year-old first-year Environmental Studies student at York University, passionate about youth empowerment, innovation, and policy advocacy for sustainable cities. Her conviction in the transformative power of climate education is evident as she conducts workshops for youth, viewing it as a catalyst for sustainable urbanization. As a Project Manager at EarthNet, Sarah oversees hubs with the goal of encouraging 10 million youth to develop climate projects spanning policy/innovation/community organizing. Facilitating opportunities for youth involvement, she fosters a meaningful dialogue among Canadian youth and a network of organizations dedicated to youth empowerment. As a Board Member of the Fyera Foundation, Sarah has written adopted policies for G20 2023 working groups, addressing issues of gender equality, disability accessibility, and sustainable communities and spoke at the UN Science/Technology/Innovation Forum 2023 along with many notable conferences and universities. Sarah’s research during her 2023 fellowship at The David Suzuki Foundation centers on designing a rotating solar panel. Her work has been recognized by the Lieutenant Governor/government officials.

Members

BACCC Chair,
Richard Koroscil 

Burlington Economic Development Corp,
Anita Cassidy

BurlingtonGreen,
Amy Schnurr

Burlington Sustainable Development Advisory Committee,
Peter Nimmrichter

Clean Air Hamilton,
Barry Duffey

Conservation Halton,
Martin Keller

Environment Hamilton,
Ian Borsuk

Hamilton Chamber of Commerce,
Katie Stiel

Hamilton Conservation Authority,
Fionnula Wade

Hamilton Health Sciences,
Victoria Brzozowski

Hamilton Industrial Environmental Association,
Geoffrey Knapper

Hamilton Regional Indian Centre,
Brenda Jacobs

Sustainability Leadership,
Christopher Warren

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