Climate Change

Let’s create a Resilient Richmond Hill – together

We are taking steps to become more resilient to climate change – and you can help! Our Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP) is bringing together staff, key stakeholders and the public to find ways to increase energy efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas emissions throughout Richmond Hill. 

CEEP Receives Council Approval 

On May 26, 2021, Council approved the Community Energy and Emissions Plan. Developed in consultation with residents, businesses and community partners, the CEEP will guide the City in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), conserving energy and exploring related economic opportunities. The goal of the CEEP, titled Richmond Hill’s Path to a Low Carbon Future, is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 – by greatly reducing our GHG emissions and not emitting more than we offset.

Read the Final Community Energy and Emissions Plan

How you can Help us Reach Net-Zero by 2050

The CEEP is a community driven plan. To realize the vision of net-zero by 2050, the City and community must work together. As an initial call to action for residents, the CEEP is accompanied by a toolkit called A Guide to Talking to People in Your Life about Climate Change. This made-in-Richmond Hill resource, co-developed with members of the community, provides information and tips for local climate action that aligns with City priorities.

Read the Climate Change Conversation Toolkit

Community Engagement

Thank you to all those who contributed to our online surveys, Resilient Places map, and Resilient Stories map. Community engagement results, as well as key information about our community energy and emissions data, are being collected and shared in our award-winning CEEP StoryMap. Subscribe to this webpage (by clicking “Receive Email Updates…” below) to receive notices and stay up to date with the Resilient Richmond Hill campaign.

View the CEEP StoryMap

What is Resilient Richmond Hill?

Resilient Richmond Hill (or Resilient RH) is a project aimed at mitigating climate change (by lowering our GHG emissions) and adapting to climate change (by planning for weather extremes). Taking action now will help strengthen our community and maintain – and even improve – our quality of life.

Resilient RH will build on existing actions, programs, partnerships, and plans to develop a more comprehensive and strategic response to climate change.  While this initiative is specific to our community, its underlying goals align with many other towns and cities around the world.

The City's Climate Change Framework examines how local climate change impacts will affect its own programs and services, and identifies opportunities to improve resiliency.  Our Community Energy and Emissions Plan explores mitigation options that not only reduce our emissions but also save energy costs for residents and businesses. 

Climate change in Richmond Hill

What is Climate Change?
Richmond Hill is already feeling, and will continue to experience, the effects of climate change: heat waves, ice storms, increased rainfall, high wind speeds and more freeze-thaw cycles. These weather extremes threaten the health of natural and built environments, and the viability of municipal services and operations.

Climate change refers to long-term changes in weather patterns. Global warming is a measure of climate change and describes increases in the earth's average temperature over time. Human activities in the last 100 years, such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation, have increased greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the air, which contributes to global warming and changing weather patterns.

Our community contributes to climate change in two main ways:

  • Heating and cooling buildings with natural gas or other fossil fuels
  • Transportation of people and goods using petroleum
What is Resilience?

To be resilient means to be able to prepare for, resist and recover from damage or negative impacts. A resilient community plans ahead and maintains a balance of strength and flexibility. 

  • For example, a healthy tree with strong roots can withstand heavy winds and drought. Trees also gain resilience (i.e. to pests, disease and extreme weather) when they exist in a diverse community – a forest.
How can we cope with climate change? 

By building up our resilience, Richmond Hill can deal with the negative impacts of climate change while helping to address its root causes. Our natural environment already contains resilient features, such as the Oak Ridges Moraine, rivers and streams, forests, wetlands, and wildlife. Our built environment contains resilient features as well:  parks and open spaces, walking and cycling options, community gardens, and stormwater management. 

Resilience in the face of climate change involves two broad responses:

  • Mitigation – lowering greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. For example, walking and cycling instead of using a gas-powered vehicle can decrease emissions and traffic congestion, while improving physical and mental health.   
  • Adaptation – preparing for and dealing with the impacts of climate change. For example, stormwater controls can decrease the risk of flooding by managing increased amounts of water from large storms and quickly melting snow.
Public Documents
What else has Richmond Hill been doing about climate change?

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