Hamilton to spend $2.5 million on new climate change initiatives


Published October 30, 2023 at 11:28 am

Hamilton is set to invest $2.55 million in new climate change initiatives to reduce the city’s environmental impact. These include reducing city vehicle emissions, new low-carbon public transportation options and improved stormwater management.

The city has committed to annual climate investments, the first of which is part of the 2023 budget. The investment is broken down into five major budget items. The first is the $900,000 purchase of new battery units for 15 fire trucks. These batteries will reduce each truck’s engine usage by 15 per cent and idling specifically by 45 per cent. This change will reduce each firetruck’s CO2 emissions by 18 tonnes annually.

Next, the city will spend $750,000 on a shared e-bike program to provide residents with a cleaner transportation option. Hamilton will buy a fleet of at least 100 e-bikes for commuters to share as part of a pilot program. Such programs have proven popular across the GTA over the last year with pilots running in Mississauga, Brampton, Oshawa and Ajax.

Thirdly, $350,000 is going toward secure bike lock-up facilities. Some of the funding will go to upgrading existing infrastructure, but some will go to new lock-up at major transit hubs including the Convention Centre, York Boulevard Parkade, McMaster University, Mohawk College, Eastgate Square Transit Terminal, and City Hall.

Another $350,000 is earmarked for pavement removal across the city. The idea is to rip up some city-owned boulevards, streets and lands. These paved areas will be replaced by soil, greenery and trees to allow rainwater to soak into the ground rather than flood roads. This will also promote the city’s tree canopy coverage and urban greening.

Finally, six Hamilton-owned parking lots are set for a total $200,000 “green makeover” which will replace the surface with “more permeable and sustainable surfaces” like a more permeable asphalt.

These investments form part of Hamilton’s 2023 Climate Action Strategy Annual Update, which was ratified on Oct. 25. Hamilton aims to be completely carbon neutral by 2050 and has undertaken numerous actions to get there such as

  • New government structures and an upcoming Community Climate Change Advisory Committee
  • The Better Homes Hamilton home energy retrofit pilot
  • An upcoming net zero energy standard for all new municipal buildings
  • Giving homeowners 3,500 native trees and planting 3,600 trees on city land in 2023
  • Climate Change Reserve funding to support EV charging electrical upgrades at City facilities
  • Development of an Extreme Heat Response Plan is underway, with input from the multi-stakeholder Extreme Heat Working Group
  • Acceleration of infrastructure installation is underway for the local cycling network

The city has made significant progress toward neutrality over the last 15 years, reducing it’s 2006 emissions of 17,350,000 tonnes of CO2 to by 40 per cent 10,290,000 tonnes in 2021. However, there remains much work to do. In order to meet it’s goals Hamilton became one of few communitys to join the Montreal pledge, which “will ensure that Hamilton’s actions towards improvements to local biodiversity will align with actions being undertaken by other municipalities from Canada.”

“I want the City of Hamilton to be a leader in reducing emissions and doing our part to mitigate climate change. These smart, annual investments will do so much good over the long term, protecting our environment and our future,” said Mayor Andrea Horwath.

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