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, and local industry. Developing and advocating for climate policies that would effectively reduce emissions in these three sectors is BACCC’s main focus.

“Local governments have direct or indirect control over 60% of Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions.There are no substitutes for local information, local capacity and local strategies and solutions.”

Yuill Herbert, Sustainability Solutions Group, 2019

Our Story

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.

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.


Our Plan

In order 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.

To achieve this will require big changes to new and existing buildings, transportation networks, and local industry. This includes:

  • Improving low carbon modes of transportation like biking, walking and public transit
  • Increasing zero carbon vehicle uptake for all classes of vehicles (electric or alternative fuels)
  • Retrofitting pre-2017 dwellings to achieve 50% energy savings
  • Building new buildings to a zero carbon standard
  • Reducing local industrial emissions through innovation and without carbon leakage

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.

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

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.

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