Climate Change Action in Lincoln
In May 2021, Town of Lincoln Council passed a motion to immediately declare a climate crisis in Lincoln. Council recognizes the urgent need to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change and to deepen the Town’s commitment to protecting its economy, ecosystems, and community from climate change. You can read the resolution here.
Climate change is already having an impact on global economies, communities, and built and natural environments. It remains the most significant global threat to quality of life and security – for current and future generations. Bold and collective action at global, national, and community levels is required to effect change, build resilience, mitigate future threats, and ensure a prosperous future for generations to come.
The Town of Lincoln aims to take such action and contribute to the global shift towards sustainable growth and resilience. The Corporate Climate Adaptation Plan (CCAP) has been developed by the Town of Lincoln as a guideline to support and inform climate adaptation at the corporate municipal level. It will outline how the municipality as a corporation will adapt its assets, operations, and services to the current and future impacts of climate change.
"One of the four pillars of our Council Priorities is to be a Resilient Community, and as part of that pillar we have set out the goal to adapt and respond to a changing climate. Lincoln is a leader in Niagara, and we strive to provide Lincoln residents with a quality of life that is second to none, within a prosperous and ecologically sustainable community. We have a responsibility to anticipate and prepare for potential impacts of climate change on our community and are committed to taking a leadership role in facing this uncertainty."
Adaptation refers to actions that reduce the negative impact of climate change, while taking advantage of potential new opportunities. Mitigation refers to reducing the emissions that cause climate change. Adaptation and mitigation are not mutually exclusive – some actions, known as low-carbon resilience actions, have co-benefits, contributing to both objectives.
The CCAP focuses on corporate adaptation actions the Town will take. The Town will next develop a Corporate Climate Mitigation Plan to address the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the Town’s infrastructure, assets, operations, and services. The Town will also develop a Community Low-Carbon Resilience Plan to identify adaptation, mitigation, and co-benefit actions that can be accomplished by residents, public and private sectors, and local stakeholders.Image
In Spring 2021, Council approved the Corporate Climate Adaptation Plan (CCAP) and passed a motion to declare a climate crisis in Lincoln. Council recognizes the urgent need to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change and to deepen the Town’s commitment to protecting Lincoln’s economy, ecosystems, and community from climate change. The CCAP includes 47 actions that the municipality will undertake to adapt to climate change. These actions contribute to eight high-level goals that the Town will strive.
The purpose of the Corporate Climate Adaptation Plan (CCAP) is to prepare the Town of Lincoln to adapt to anticipated climatic change and extreme weather, thereby minimizing the severity of the resulting impacts. These actions contribute to the following eight high-level Goals that the Town will strive towards as it implements the CCAP:
Goal 1: Integrate climate change considerations into Town strategies, plans, policies, procedures, operations, & services
Goal 2: Increase resiliency & adaptive capacity within economic development, community services, parks, & recreation
Goal 3: Protect natural resources, promote ecosystem services, & minimize environmental degradation
Goal 4: Mitigate harmful consequences of extreme weather & emergency events
Goal 5: Minimize health & safety risks to community members and staff
Goal 6: Foster Lake Ontario shoreline resilience through planning, management & protection
Goal 7: Consider climate change impacts in built infrastructure & asset management
Goal 8: Increase climate change literacy among staff & public
The CCAP is intended to be a living document and will be updated annually to reflect implementation progress, new opportunities, and scientific advancements.
The Town is now developing a Corporate Climate Mitigation Plan to address the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the Town’s infrastructure, assets, operations, and services. In order to complete a mitigation plan to reduce emissions, the Town passed a resolution to join the Partners of Climate Protection (PCP) program delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability. This program supports and guides municipalities in reducing GHG emissions through a Milestone Framework:
Milestone Zero – Council resolution to join PCP
Milestone One – Create a GHG emissions inventory and forecast
Inventory of energy consumed and solid waste generated at Town owned and operated buildings, street lighting, the municipal fleet etc.
A GHG emissions inventory can help you track emissions, energy use and energy spending as well as measure your progress over time. Having a forecast allows you to project future emissions based on assumptions about population, economic growth, fuel mix, and technological change.
Milestone Two – Set an emissions reductions target
GHG reduction target sets the tone and direction for emission reduction efforts. Targets should be achievable, while also inspiring ambitious action and are expected to align with federal, provincial and peer municipality targets. o Two targets: municipally owned operations and community-wide emissions.
Milestone Three – Develop action plan
Summarize baseline emissions forecasts and targets; propose GHG reduction actions; and determine implementation strategies and resources required
A local action plan outlining how Lincoln will achieve its emissions reduction target through municipal operations (CCMP) and community-based initiatives (CLRP). Stakeholder engagement is critical to development, and ownership of the plan by municipal staff and the community will ensure long1term success.
Milestone Four – Implement the action plan or set of activities
Identify measures to develop and/or incorporate into existing projects
Estimate and track lifecycle costs, payback periods, resource savings, direct and indirect benefits, and potential sources of internal and external funds.
Milestone Five – Monitor progress and report results
Evaluate project outputs against base projections, adjusting activities as needed.
The Town of Lincoln is also in the process of creating a Community Low-Carbon Resilience Plan to help the community adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A Community Low-Carbon Resilience Plan will identify adaptation, mitigation, and co-benefit actions that can be accomplished by residents, public and private sectors, and local stakeholders.
Throughout this process, the Town is engaging with the public and key stakeholders to ensure Lincoln’s Community Low-Carbon Resilience Plan reflects your concerns and visions for a Sustainable Lincoln. A public survey has been developed to understand perspectives on high-level climate actions, gather GHG and single-use plastics reduction action ideas, set reduction targets, and develop a vision and principles to guide the planning process.
The COVID-19 pandemic has and will have long-lasting impacts on public health, economic growth, national security, and built and natural environments. Not unlike the climate crisis, the challenges and impacts of the global pandemic are multi-faceted, exacerbate existing inequalities, and require significant investment and action to resolve. The Town of Lincoln, like many global municipalities, has the opportunity to build a more resilient, healthy, and equitable community and reduce the vulnerability of its economy, society, and environment to climate change and human health crises.
Climate resilience is defined as the capacity to cope with a hazardous event or trend or disturbance. For businesses, it is also reflected in the capacity to respond in ways that maintain essential functions and structures, and the capacity to adapt, learn, and transform. Building climate resilience in a business involves preparing for climate-related risks and making transformational change that ultimately works to reduce risks and greenhouse gas emissions, in line with Canada’s transition to net-zero.
The Town of Lincoln developed a Climate Change Resilience Toolkit to help local businesses learn to assess, adapt, and mitigate their business in response to our changing climate. To learn more, check out the Climate Proof Your Business Handout and the Climate Change Resilience Toolkit.