Climate change is a global problem with local impacts. Local climate change projections indicate that our climate is already changing and that our local weather will be warmer, wetter and more extreme.

On this page:

  1. Local community action
  2. Community energy investments
  3. Corporate climate action

Local community action

We worked with our local communities to develop the Waterloo Region Community Climate Adaptation Plan. The report outlines 15 objectives and 36 actions in four impact areas:

  • Health and Community
  • Built Environment
  • Natural Environment
  • Water, and Energy and Economy

The Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment will also inform community climate adaptation planning.

Municipalities influence over 50% of Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Recognizing this, we’re prioritizing three main approaches to reducing GHGs in our community, our organization and service delivery:

  • energy conservation – use less energy and use it more efficiently
  • fuel switching – use lower carbon fuels, "clean fuels"
  • generate energy – make renewable "clean energy"


For the last decade, the City of Kitchener has been one of ten active collaborative members of ClimateActionWR. This collaboration includes all eight local municipalities and two non-governmental organizations (Reep Green Solutions and Sustainable Waterloo Region). The first generation of community climate action work had a 6% GHG community reduction target from 2010 levels and progress updates 2015 and 2020. We haven’t seen sustained community GHG reductions, which points to the need for significant and transformational efforts across all sectors. Recognizing this need for transformational work, we embarked on the next generation of community GHG work.

In 2018 (as part of the second generation of community climate action work), all eight councils endorsed an 80% greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target by 2050 (as the community minimum we need to achieve from our 2010 levels). 

Recognizing the increasing urgency of our climate action work on June 24, 2019, city council declared a climate emergency.


TransformWR is the broad umbrella strategy under which municipalities, businesses, organizations, and households will work to transition our community off of fossil fuels. It is a renewed and deeper commitment to the work we have been doing over the last decade as part of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program. It is a 30-year strategy and a 10-year plan to address climate change.

This strategy includes an interim absolute GHG emissions reduction target of 30% by 2030. Based on population projections, this will equal a GHG emissions reduction of 49% per person by 2030. Read the technical pathway document for more context.

City council also endorsed a whole interim community GHG emissions reduction target of 50% by 2030. Recognizing that the bold and immediate local actions in TransformWR strategy are expected to achieve a 30% reduction by 2030, city council called for bold and immediate action from provincial and federal governments to enable municipalities to reach this deeper reduction target of 50% reduction by 2050.

TransformWR identifies six transformative changes, related strategies and 78 activities, and key milestones to help track our progress. We’re responsible for most actions as lead, co-lead, collaborator, support or participant. Bold and immediate action is needed to achieve these reductions. The strategy expects the same aggressive and immediate action from other organizations, businesses, and individuals. It identifies ways to support them in this work. Since 94% of our GHG emissions are from energy use, the strategy outlines a path to achieve the community's energy transition.

Visit the TransformWR dashboard to find progress updates.

Community energy investments

A community-wide energy transition is needed. We’re in this together! WR Community Energy is a collaborative initiative between the Region of Waterloo, its urban municipalities and local utilities created to lead the implementation of Waterloo Region's Community Energy Investment Strategy and to steward energy transition in our community.

Corporate climate action

As a part of our first-generation corporate climate action plan, city council endorsed an 8% absolute GHG reduction target from 2016 levels. We’re developing a second-generation plan that seeks deeper GHG reductions.

Our second-generation Corporate Climate Action Plan focuses on guiding the organization in making progress on three goals:

  1. to accelerate a corporate and community energy transition
  2. to reduce corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions both in corporate demand for and supply of energy
  3. to support integrated climate change adaptation efforts across the organization

Our new Corporate Climate Action Plan will address these goals through three separate bodies of work:

This body of work will give us a energy demand and energy supply side plan to support an accelerated energy transition to guide corporate GHG emissions reduction efforts across our organization (in all five focus areas, including facilities, fleet and equipment, waste, staff travel and streetlights) and within the community that Kitchener Utilities serves. The project will also support the organization in integrating its efforts to be resilient in changing local and global climate change and related conditions.