Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is HalifACT 2050, and what does it aim to do?
A: HalifACT 2050: Acting on Climate Together is a long-term climate change plan to reduce emissions and help our communities adapt. The plan will guide efforts to reduce emissions by conserving energy and increasing access to clean energy sources. It will also help communities adapt by raising awareness and helping people prepare.
In the short term, the Halifax Regional Municipality will continue to help people address climate change with our award-winning Solar City Program. We will continue to plan development and support our builders and other sectors of society with a changing climate in mind. However, there is more work to do – HalifACT 2050 is about what we do together to address climate change over the next 30 years.
Q: What has the Halifax Regional Municipality already been doing to help address climate change?
A: In 2011 Council adopted a target to reduce corporate (i.e., municipal operations) GHG emissions by 30 percent below 2008 levels by 2020. Staff are tracking progress on this target under the Corporate Plan to Reduce GHG Emissions 2012-2020 [PDF]. As part of our HalifACT 2050: Acting on Climate Together plan, we will be updating the corporate emissions target and establishing a community-level GHG emissions reduction target.
The municipality is actively working to prepare and increase the resilience of our communities, infrastructure and environment to likely impacts of climate change through initiatives including Community-based vulnerability mapping; volunteer-led Joint Emergency Management teams; Community Mobilization Teams being piloted through the Public Safety Office; and floodplain studies.
We continue to be involved in a variety of programs and initiatives to decrease operating costs and cut corporate emissions including the installation of solar panels on fire stations and community centres; LED lighting retrofits and building retrofits. We have also formed partnerships and collaboration with a number of organizations in our fight against climate change. Some examples of related projects include:
Integrated Mobility Plan
Green Network Plan
Moving Forward Together
Urban Forest Master Plan
Active Transportation Priorities Plan
Q: What is meant by corporate emissions and community emissions?
A: Corporate emissions are emissions resulting from energy use in outdoor and street lighting, municipal fleet vehicles, and municipally owned buildings.
Community emissions would include emmissions resulting from all other energy use within the municipality including utilities, solid waste management, on-road transportation, space heating and cooling in all homes and buildings, as well as all energy use from appliances like generators and refrigerators.
Q: Is this the response to Halifax Regional Council declaring a climate emergency?
A: Staff have been working on HalifACT 2050 since spring of 2018. Regional Council declared a climate emergency on January 29, 2019.
HalifACT 2050 aims to respond to the themes and issues outlined in the climate emergency declaration.
Staff have been engaging stakeholders and the public to discuss realistic and measurable emission reduction approaches and targets, as well as adaptation priorities. Pop-ups are taking place across the municipality this summer to help shape our plan. Join us in the climate conversation and provide feedback by visiting our Shape Your City webpage.
Q: What role does the municipality have in HalifACT 2050?
A: The municipality is taking a leadership role to create a climate action plan that will address both emissions reductions and adaptation priorities as we prepare for future climate change impacts. The municipal government will be responsible for implementing the targets and actions related to municipal operations and will influence the implementation and monitoring of community targets and actions over time, for example through policy and programming.
HalifACT 2050 will also be used to inform other official municipal plans and policies, including the update to the Regional Plan. The municipality will work with community stakeholders (e.g. utilities, NGOs, businesses, academic institutions, government departments and agencies) to implement and achieve targets and actions.
Q:What role does the public have in HalifACT 2050?
A: The public will be involved in providing feedback on our surveys and our draft plan in person and through the Shape Your City webpage.
The public’s involvement and feedback are critical and will help inform the adaptation priorities and emission reduction targets set out by HalifACT 2050.
HalifACT 2050 encourages every individual to be aware of, and respond to, climate change however they can. Only through all our actions combined can we make our 2050 targets and priorities a reality.
Q: Will public engagement be a major component of this plan?
A: We are relying on the public to provide critical and valuable input to inform our priorities for climate change mitigation and adaptation, through our online survey and through our pop-ups being held across the the Halifax region this summer.
Q: Overall, what message is the municipality is trying to communicate to the public with this plan?
A: HalifACT 2050 is a plan to help every community and every individual in the municipality take appropriate action to respond to climate change. The plan is about preventing loss, cutting emissions, saving money, and strengthening communities. It is meant to be a collaborative process that encompasses municipal government and community-based efforts.