Preparing for climate change means shifting the way we live, work and lead. It means adjusting attitudes and behaviours, and engaging community members at every level to come together and boldly tackle climate change.
The Bay Area Climate Change Office (BACCO) - a unique, powerful collaboration between the cities of Hamilton and Burlington (the Bay Area) and the Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk College - brings together leaders, businesses, regional stakeholders and community citizens in a concerted effort to move us to a low-carbon economy and improve our resilience to our changing climate.
The BACCO is building on the foundation laid by the City of Hamilton Community Climate Action Plan and City of Burlington Community Energy Plan. The desire to embark on a regional collaboration to address climate change stemmed from an announcement made by both city mayors at the 2017 Bay Area Economic Summit. Discussions between the Bay Area cities and Mohawk College, and funding from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s Cap-and-Trade Program led to the formation of BACCO. The structure of the BACCO is inspired by the very successful Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC) established to address the rehabilitation of the Hamilton Harbour.
Making progress towards real change in the Bay Area
Now just over a year old, BACCO is progressing quickly through its project timeline.
An ambitious community engagement schedule of activities that included a Bay Area Climate Change Summit held in March 2018, forums, pop-up events, an online survey, stakeholder workshops, interviews and public meetings culminated in a proposed new BACCO governance structure. On June 27, 2018, the proposed governance structure was presented and adopted.
Integral to the new structure is a Bay Area Climate Change Council (BACCC) that will set regional priorities, develop action plans and report back to the community on progress. Over the summer of 2018, the BACCC was established. Thirteen community leaders are working together to take action on the priorities that matter most in our communities, which are being determined through consideration of a number of inputs: a regional greenhouse gas inventory, the Hamilton Community Climate Action plan, Burlington Community Energy Plan, and the extensive stakeholder engagement activities conducted earlier this year. The Year 1 Action Plan is expected to be ready by early 2019.
Council will recruit an implementation team (or teams) depending on the priority areas identified. Both the Bay Area Climate Change Council and Bay Area Implementation Team will be assisted by dedicated coordinators at the Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk College.
If you are looking for ways to make a difference in climate change mitigation or adaptation, get in touch with us.
Contact us at climatechange [at] mohawkcollege.ca