HalifACT: Acting on Climate Together

HalifACT is one of the most ambitious climate action movements in Canada.

It's our community response to the climate crisis that will build a more resilient and healthy future in Atlantic Canada while preparing for current and future climate impacts. 

On June 23rd, 2020, Halifax Regional Council unanimously adopted HalifACT – a transformational plan to achieve a net-zero economy by 2050.

 

Latest HalifACT news and information

HalifACT is more than a plan – it’s a commitment to reducing emissions, switching to clean and reliable energy sources, and demonstrating leadership from local government.

With this commitment in mind, the 2022/23 municipal capital plan has $10 million in approved spending toward the HalifACT Climate Action Plan for this fiscal year and $109 million approved in principle for fiscal years 2023/24 and 2025/26.  

Below is a breakdown of how these dollars will be invested in 2022/23.

HalifACT: 2022/23 budget breakdown

Initiatives & Impacts

Specific details for 2022/23 initiatives are subject to change based on a variety of factors, including resource and material availability, technological requirements, potential supply chain issues, etc.

Budget Allocation

Figures below have been rounded to the nearest $100,000.

Initiatives & Impacts

Specific details for 2022/23 initiatives are subject to change based on a variety of factors, including resource and material availability, technological requirements, potential supply chain issues, etc.

Budget Allocation

Figures below have been rounded to the nearest $100,000.
Initiative: Begin the design and actioning of deep energy retrofits for approximately 700,000 ft2 of floorspace in municipally-owned buildings. Retrofitting to include fuel switching, heat recovery systems, LED lighting, demand-controlled ventilation, rooftop solar and more.

Impacts:

  • Estimated operational savings of $26 million over a 10-year lifecycle after retrofitting operations are complete.
  • Reduced reliance on oil.
  • Significant step toward long-term goal of retrofitting two million ft2 of floorspace in municipally-owned buildings by 2027.
  • Aligns with target of net-zero municipal operations by 2030.
$2,800,000
Initiative: Install a total of five to ten level 3 (fast-charging) electric vehicle charging units at various municipal properties (including rural and urban locations) for public use.

Impacts:

  • Supports commuters who do not have access to home-based electric vehicle charging units.
  • Reduced barriers/improved access to charging stations may encourage and accelerate the transition to electric vehicles across our region.
$1,100,000
Initiative: Convert 54 existing municipal vehicles to fully electric or plug-in hybrid electric (approximately 10 per cent of the municipality’s existing fleet).

Impacts:

  • Increased annual operational savings through lower fuel costs and reduced maintenance costs and time.
  • Aligns with target of net-zero municipal operations by 2030.
$3,100,000
Initiative: Install 40 level 2 (lower-capacity) electric vehicle charging units at municipal facilities to support the growing electric vehicle fleet.

Impacts:

  • Increased annual operational savings through lower fuel costs and operational efficiencies and time savings for municipal employees.
  • Aligns with target of net-zero municipal operations by 2030.
$400,000
Initiative: Full review of municipally owned and operated critical infrastructure to determine required “future-proofing” against various potential climate impacts.

Impacts:

  • Efficient and informed planning: Assessment will look at factors such as risk levels to ensure time and cost-effective prioritization of infrastructure across the Halifax region.
  • Reduced future costs for maintenance and repair.
  • Implementation of identified upgrades will begin in year two and will continue until all critical infrastructure is updated as required.
$600,000
Initiative: General climate action projects across the municipality.

Examples of general initiatives funded in 2021/22:

  • Prince Albert Road Rain Garden Project.
  • Electric ice re-surfacer for the Sackville Sports Stadium.
  • Procurement of electric bikes for parking enforcement officers.
  • Tree planting as part of the implementation of the Urban Forest Master Plan.
  • Solar panel installations on municipal buildings (Needham Park washroom, Dartmouth North Community Centre, Acadia Centre/Sackville Public Library, The Dingle Canteen/Adventure Earth Centre).
  • A refrigerated truck to increase food security in climate-vulnerable communities during power outages.
$2,000,000
TOTAL $10,000,000

 

Regional Council also established a Climate Action Tax as part of its approval of the 2022/23 municipal budget. This tax will fund projects such as electric buses, installing public electric vehicle chargers, retrofitting municipal buildings, as well as taking actions to improve the Halifax region's resiliency against the impacts of climate change – which range from flood mitigation and stormwater management to food security and emergency preparedness.

While implementing HalifACT will require significant financial contribution from all levels of government, investing today will save money, prevent loss, prepare communities and improve wellbeing. One dollar spent today in climate adaption measures will save six dollars tomorrow in future costs, according to a 2020 report by Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

The municipality is already seeing early signs of these savings. Since 2018, as part of a three-year partnership with Efficiency Nova Scotia, the municipality has implemented approximately 200 energy efficiency projects, saving over $2 million annually and reducing green house gas emissions by 15 per cent.

graphical treatment of the words "one dollar spent in preparation saves six dollars in future impact costs" and "22B spent on emissions reduction equals 41.9B in avoided energy related costs
HalifACT Video

Listen to the Pretty Heady Stuff podcast conversation about HalifACT.

Shannon Miedema, Director of Environment & Climate Change speaks with host and MSVU professor Scott Stoneman. Air date: April 22, 2022 (Earth Day).


For common questions about HalifACT, click here


Current progress report summary

See highlights from our latest progress report, presented to the Committee of the Whole on January 21, 2022. 

blue icon with a  descending bar chart with descending arrow

Early successes: Mitigation

Green icon with a thermometer on a shield

Early successes: Adaptation 

  • $275,000 worth of trees to support Urban Forest Master Plan
  • Application for Natural Infrastructure Funding to improve Eastern Passage’s Shore Road ($5 million project)
  • 1.25 acres of land and $750,000 for Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes land acquisition 
  • Emergency backup generators installed at four community locations to provide emergency comfort centres during extreme weather events.

Read the Plan

Regional Council has unanimously approved the HalifACT 2050 – Acting on Climate Change Together plan, the municipality’s long-term climate action plan to reduce emissions and help communities adapt to a changing climate. Have a look at our plans and supporting documents:

Recognition of Natural Assets

The Halifax Regional Municipality has joined municipalities across the country to support the inclusion of natural assets in accounting inventories. 

A preliminary natural asset inventory for the municipality has been completed by the Municipal Natural Asset Initiative. This is the first step on HRMs natural asset management journey and will act as an invaluable resource when developing the asset management program. At the municipal level, natural assets are increasingly being included in the definition of "infrastructure", since many ecosystem services either contribute directly to the municipal mandate (e.g., stormwater management, erosion control, air quality) or are strongly influenced by local decision-making (e.g., about community well-being or climate regulation).

Valuing natural assets such as carbon sequestration & storage, flood protection and biodiversity benefits allows them to be more meaningfully considered by decision-makers.

View the joint response.
View supporting information.

 

Awards from the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change and Energy (GCoM) 

We are thrilled to accept three badges from the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM). Based on data we reported, we've been awarded the Compliance, Adaptatio,n and Mitigation Badge. The ‘Compliance’ badge is awarded to cities who have accomplished all steps under the mitigation, adaptation, and access to energy pillars. 

 

 

The Compliance badge is awarded to cities who have accomplished all steps under the mitigation, adaptation, and access to energy pillars. 

 

 

The mitigation badge was awarded for our work identifying & designing a reduction plan for our Green House Gas emissions.

 

 

The adaptation badge was awarded for our commitment to assessing climate risk and vulnerability & setting adaptation goals.

TEDxHalifax Countdown

On October 10, 2020, Halifax joined cities from around the globe for TEDxHalifax Countdown, an event focused on climate action.

Did you miss our watch party? Watch now:


Celebrate HalifACT: Youth Climate Art Contest

Thank you to everyone who entered our first ever Celebrate HalifACT: Youth Climate Art Contest and congratulations to the winners! We received a lot of amazing artwork from youth across HRM.  View the winning entries: