Climate Action

Climate Action

Climate change describes changes in long-term (for example the difference between weather events in 1948 and 2016). Global warming usually refers to the increased average temperature of the air on earth due to climate change. Climate Action or Climate Change Action involves two broad responses:

Mitigation: lowering greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the air; which contribute to air, water and the overall environment’s pollution, as well as climate change.

  • Member of FCM’s Partners for Climate Protection Framework: The PCP program guides municipalities through a five-step Milestone Framework to act on climate change by reducing emissions in your municipality. From creating an inventory to setting and reaching your emissions reduction target, each step moves municipalities closer to achieving their mitigation goal.
  • Riverhead Anaerobic Digester and re-use of biogas: This system reduces the need for the Riverhead facility to use heating oil, reducing emissions from fossil fuels.
  • Robin Hood Bay Landfill Gas capture and destruction: The system allows the city to capture landfill gases, which otherwise end up in the atmosphere. A portion of this gas is methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas (28 times more potent than carbon dioxide). Burning the landfill gas reduces its potential to act as a greenhouse gas by turning the methane into carbon dioxide and water.
  • Geothermal and heat recovery systems for City owned facilities: These systems improve the energy efficiency of our facilities, reducing the need for the facilities to use heating oil or other energy sources.
  • Implementation of roundabouts: Roundabouts reduce vehicle accidents and delay time at intersection. This reduces fuel consumption and emissions from vehicles at intersections.
  • Sustainable transportation: Bike St. John’s Master Plan, Market Assessment and Strategic Directions Study: Making more modes of transportation available reduces the community’s dependency on cars, while improving quality of life.
  • Christmas Tree Recycling: Christmas trees are mulched and used as ground cover. This improves the capability of soils to retain greenhouse gases and improves overall soil health.
  • Robinhood Bay Recycling: Recycling generally prevents the waste of potentially useful materials, reduces the consumption of raw materials and reduces energy usage, and hence greenhouse gas emissions, compared to virgin production.
  • Backyard Composting information sessions: Composting is an aerobic process that reduces or prevents the release of methane during organic matter breakdown. Composting on-site further reduces the need to frequently transport the organic matter.

The City of St. John’s is part of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) Program (since 2000), which outlines a five-step Milestone Framework that guides municipalities as they improve sustainability and reduce  greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
Read the Corporate and Community Energy and Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Adaptation: preparing for and dealing with the impacts of the already existing and projected increases in GHGs, like climate change. For example: infrastructure upgrades, conserving and restoring our natural resources, local innovation and social networks, planning for disaster response, local foods, etc.