Climate Change Action Plan


The City of Peterborough is a partner in the Greater Peterborough Area Climate Change Action Plan, which includes targets and recommends actions for each of the partners.

In its climate emergency declaration, City Council identified the need to achieve a target of 45% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050.

You can find more information on our targets and actions in the Climate Change Action Plan chapter for the City.


Climate Adaptation Plan
 Greening Cities Operations

Find out about some of the action the City of Peterborough has completed to become a more sustainable!

Green Economy Hub Peterborough

Peterborough is developing a Green Economy Hub for local businesses, organizations. The Green  Hub will help agencies combat climate change by encouraging the use of responsible energy tracking and reporting, as well as inspiring individuals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Stayed tuned for more details! 

Image of electric vehicle chraging station located at Lansdowne place mall in Peterborough, Ontario. Electric vehicle charging stations

In partnership with Peterborough Utilities Inc., the City of Peterborough installed electric vehicle charging stations at the Riverview Park & Zoo, Lansdowne Place Mall, King Street Parking Garage, and the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

  • Riverview park & zoo – a level 2 station
  • Lansdowne Place mall – a level 2 & level 3 station
  • King Street parking garage – two level 2 stations
  • Memorial Centre – a level 2 station

Active transportation

Riding your bike is now easier! By 2018, the City has invested in more than 70 kilometers of cycling lanes and multi-use trails. Support active transportation, improve your own physical health, and reduce emissions by getting on the trails. 

City wide streetlight projects

In the fall of 2018, we participated in the SaveONEnergy Retrofit program to retrofit 7,205 streetlights to adaptive LEDs. This project is estimated to generate an energy savings of 4,944,930.6 kWh which has reduced the City’s streetlight energy consumption by 80%. This retrofit savings is the equivalent energy used by 858 homes annually.

Fuel switching at City arenas

By fall of 2019, all gasoline powered ice edgers at the City arenas will have been replaced with electric ice edgers.  Powered by a rechargeable battery, the edger is totally pollution-free and environmentally friendly, helping to reduce our greenhouse gases! 

Replace your toilet with an added incentive

We offer a $50 rebate program for homeowners to install low-flow toilets. Save money on your water bill by switching to a low-flow toilet. Complete our online rebate application form to receive your $50 rebate.

Solar parking meters

Did you notice the solar powered pay and display parking meters in the downtown? The machines run independently by solar power, reducing the city’s energy consumption as well as simplifying snow removal from the sidewalks. Just another sustainable achievement by the City of Peterborough! 

Public transit

Public transit ridership increased significantly, by 18% in 2018. It is estimated that just over 11 million vehicle-kilometers of travel has been avoided resulting in just over 2,000 tonnes of GHG emissions avoided. 

 Renewable energy projects

Landfill biogas generator

Image of the sign for the land fill gas facility located on Bensfort Rd

In 2013, Peterborough Utilities Inc. constructed a biogas generator at the Peterborough Landfill Site. Methane, produced from decomposing waste, is captured through a network of pipes placed in the waste and delivered to the biogas digester for combustion. In 2018, the facility produced 4,188,715 kilowatt hours of electricity, which is the equivalent energy used by 727 homes annually.

Wastewater biogas generator

Image of the bio gas engine inside the waste water treatment plant facility.

In August 2016, Peterborough Utilities Inc. constructed a 380 kilowatt combined heat and power facility at the City of Peterborough’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. The facility uses methane gas produced from the waste in a biogas generator. In 2018, the facility produced 2,197,914 kilowatt hours of electricity, which is the equivalent energy used by 381 homes annually.

Kinsmen solar project

Ariel image of the solar panels mounted on top of the Kinsmen Civic Centre.In August 2016, Peterborough Utilities Inc. installed 1,544 solar panel in the roof of the Kinsmen Civic Arena. In 2018 the project generated 535,781 kilowatt hours of renewable energy which is the equivalent energy used by 92 homes annually.
 Phantom power

Phantom Power, also known as stand-by power, is the power consumed by an appliance or device when not in use. Common examples include television sets, computers, and cordless telephones. Most home electronics use 0.5 to over 25 watts of phantom power which accounts for to 10% of all electricity used in a Canadian home. Bar graph of phantom power

Photo description: Bar graph displaying appliances and devices active energy consumption and stand-by / off mode energy consumption.

Top 10 tips to fight phantom power

  1. Plug electronic devices into power bars with timers – plug electronic devices into power bars with timers to shut them off automatically.
  2. Group Appliances & Electronics – Group appliances & electronics that are used together by plugging them into the same power bar (i.e. coffee maker & toaster, Tv & game console, computer, monitor & printer, etc)
  3. Unplug Cellphone & Table Chargers – unplug cell phone & tablet chargers once devices have finished charging. Up to 50% of the electricity they draw is lost as heat.
  4. Renovating or Building New – consider installing switched outlets to turn off a group of electronics with the simple flick of a switch.
  5. Disable Computer Screen Savers – Disable Computer screen savers, as they can use up to twice as much energy. Instead, activate “sleep” mode or unplug the computer entirely.
  6. Energy Star Label – When purchasing home electronics, look for products certified with the Energy Star label. They use less energy & typically have built in power saving features.
  7. Unplug Hair Dryers, Curling Irons, or Electric Shavers – In the bathroom, unplugging hair dryers, curling irons or electric shavers when not in use – it is much safer & you will save energy.
  8. Energy Star Certified PVR – if you use a personal video recorder (PVR) check to see if cable provider offers an Energy Star certified model. Typically, 70% of a PVR energy is consumed in standby mode, so it is worth the upgrade.
  9. Plug coffee makers into power bars with timers – plug coffee makers and other small kitchen appliances into power bars with timers so they are only on during hours you typically use them.
  10. Unplug vacuums, power tools & other appliances – unplug vacuums, power tools & other appliances from chargers once they have finished charging.


Hydro One. (2019, August 21). Saving Money & Energy: Phantom Power. Retrieved from Hydro One:

 Targets and actions

The City of Peterborough is undertaking both adaptation and mitigation actions to become more resilient.  

Building climate resilience graphic

 How You Can Make a Difference! 
Below are some helpful tips and action you can take to reduce your overall energy consumption and emissions. Check out each category and see what works best for you, remember every small action helps with the greater picture of reducing the effects of climate change. 
 City's Climate Emergency Declaration 

On Monday, September 23, 2019, The City of Peterborough declared a climate emergency whereas:

  1. Climate change is the greatest crisis of our times worldwide, harming human and animal populations through extreme storms, severe flooding, record heat waves, prolonged droughts, and other natural disasters
  2. Climate change is contributing to billions of dollars in property and infrastructure damage worldwide and is viewed as the major public health threat in Canada for cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses and deaths
  3. International research has concluded that there is a need for massive carbon emissions reductions within the next 11 years to avoid further devastating damage to our environment, economy, and society
  4. Over 450 local governments, including 40 Canadian communities such as Ottawa, London, Hamilton, and Kingston have acknowledged this urgency by officially declaring a climate emergency. They are committed to action to drive down emissions at emergency speed.   These Climate Emergency Declarations importantly involve the public and serve as Calls to Action by the Community as well as by Council and other levels of government.

Therefore be it resolved:

That Council, pursuant to its authority under section 10 of the Municipal Act, 2001, hereby declares a climate emergency within the City of Peterborough for the purpose of naming, framing and deepening our commitment to protecting our community, its economy, and its eco systems from climate change, and,That staff, working with the PEAC, be requested to also report on the opportunities to:

  • Greatly accelerate timelines for our existing actions to reduce the effects of climate change;
  • Add new actions and proposals to reduce greatly our GHG emissions;
  • Identify the budgetary implications of proposed actions, including opportunities to engage all other levels of government and private sources, to combat climate change;
  • Incorporate a climate change lens into all city actions and policies recognizing the need to achieve a target of 45% GHG emission reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050;
  • Engage and educate the general public regarding this crisis to support the city’s efforts to meet these goals; and,
  • That staff report back to Council by the end of the first quarter, 2020.
 Update on Climate Change Action Plan donations

The Community has donated $21,700 in support of Climate Change Action Plan-related activities.

In March 2020, Council approved the recommendation to include an anti-idling initiative in the Transition 2050 (T2050) project – a project to target greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions through social mobilization at the neighbourhood level. The report outlined how the Climate Change donations fund will support developing and delivering this project. As this project was building off of work completed by GreenUP through the Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods project the intention was to contract GreenUP’s services to help develop and deliver materials and workshops with the two objectives: 

  1. building awareness on how to limit GHGs through efficiency improvements to homes; and
  2. modifying driving habits/reducing idling focused on school zones – an area of significant idling during drop-offs and pick-ups.  

The T2050 project was initially conceived as having an emphasis on local engagement and hosting in-person workshops to build grassroots buy in. With the realities brought about by the global pandemic the delivery of this project was significantly impacted. Once it became clear that the project could not involve neighbourhood group gatherings and close contact, the decision was made to redesign the home efficiency part of the program as an online video series, demonstrating improvements that can be made based on the type of home. In an effort to continue a focus on anti-idling as part of the broader Transition 2050 project, the immediate work was re-scoped into an anti-idling signage and information distribution program. 

The City continues to work with GreenUP on the home efficiency part of the program and is contracting its services to support material development and awareness building. This portion of the work is not being funded by the Climate Change donations fund. 

The anti-idling signage and information distribution program is focusing on school zones and recreation centres where signs can be installed on public property or in the public right of way and information can be distributed through the School Boards and facility operators. The Climate Change donations will fund the purchase and installation of these signs and educational information in keeping with the resolution that the monies be focused on supporting anti-idling.