Climate Change Facts

Mohawk College is a committed leader in climate action – making our campus and community more sustainable. We all have a role to play.

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illustrated city with one side covered in pollution and the other side showing clearn air

8 facts that REQUIRE attention

  1. The average mortality rate due to pollution is 4.6% higher in Hamilton than most Canadian cities. Many of the pollutants that harm our health also contribute to climate change and environmental degradation.
  2. Hamilton is far behind its waste reduction goals: currently at 34% diversion, with a goal of 65% by 2021.
  3. 58% of Hamilton’s total carbon emissions are from industry, this is equal to 6,052,478 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e).
  4. Due to rising temperatures black-legged ticks are moving further north and staying for a longer period of time. This puts Bay Area citizens at an increased risk of developing Lyme disease.
  5. More trees please! Hamilton has only 18% tree canopy cover – Environment Canada recommends 30%. Hamilton and Burlington both have urban forestry strategies, but private citizens and businesses can also help. Trees reduce air pollution, sequester greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce the heat island effect.
  6. Annual Average Temperature in Hamilton has increased 0.9°C since 1970. Rainfalls have become more frequent and intense. This causes flooding and significant erosion to the region’s shoreline and escarpment.
  7. Invasive species are on the rise, negatively impacting local agriculture, forestry and natural ecosystems.
  8. Single-occupancy vehicle trips make up 67% of all trips in Hamilton. Transportation is one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the region.
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8 facts to INSPIRE action

  1. The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation at Mohawk College is the first building in Canada to receive dual certification for Zero Carbon Building for design and performance from the Canada Green Building Council.
  2. Air quality has improved over the last two decades. Dangerous air pollutants like benzene are down 89%.
  3. In 2019, Hamilton and Burlington citizens staged over 135 civic actions in one day as part of 100in1Day – a global celebration of active citizenship.
  4. Hamilton is a leader in Passive House design. Hamilton will soon be home to the first Passive House tower retrofit in Canada.
  5. Hamilton Pollinator Paradise Project includes 300+ pollinator gardens. Each garden supports pollinators, which play critical roles in food production and biodiversity.
  6. Between 2006-2017 total Hamilton greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 38%.
  7. There are more than 100 different bike routes around Hamilton and Burlington and 187km of off road bike routes. There are 130+ bicycling sharing hubs across Hamilton.
  8. Both Hamilton and Burlington declared a Climate Emergency in 2019; Hamilton is striving for carbon neutrality by 2050 and Burlington by 2040!

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Programs, reports, and stories to inspire action


8 facts that INSPIRE your action

  1. Mohawk College. (2019, Nov 27). Mohawk receives Canada’s first zero carbon dual certification. Mohawk College News Desk.
  2. Clean Air Hamilton. (2018, December). 2017 air quality progress report.
  3. 100In1Day. (2019). Hamilton, ON, Canada Action 100In1Day.
  4. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. (2019, May 21). First ever passive house high-rise retrofit in Canada will create more affordable housing for seniors in Hamilton.
  5. Kappler, M. (2018, Jun 10). New bee yard will be installed at Hamilton port lands to level bee population. Global News.
  6. Office of Energy Initiatives. (2018). Annual Energy Report 2018. City of Hamilton.
  7. City of Hamilton. (2018). Sustainable Mobility Programs Annual Report 2018 PDF.
    Hamilton Conservation Authority. (2020). Hiking and recreational trails.
  8. Craggs, S. (2019, Mar 18). Hamilton declares a climate change emergency. CBC News.


8 facts that REQUIRE your attention

  1. Buist, S. (2018, Sept 14). Dramatic air quality improvements in Hamilton, with a caveat. The Hamilton Spectator.
  2. Buist, S. (2019, May 13). Hamilton councillor seeks goal of zero plastic waste. The Hamilton Spectator.
  3. The Atmospheric Fund. (2019). Carbon emissions inventory for the GTHA PDF.
  4. City of Hamilton. (2018, Mar 19). Hamilton identified as estimated risk area for Lyme disease.
  5. Urban Forest Strategy. (2019, Aug 12). About the Hamilton urban forest strategy. City of Hamilton.
    City of Burlington. (2010). Urban forest management plan 2011-2030 PDF.
  6. Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources. (2011) PDF. Climate Trends.
  7. Canadian Council on Invasive Species. (2022). Invasive Species.
  8. Rankin, C. (2019, Dec 4). Blueprint for how Hamilton should tackle its climate change emergency. CBC News.

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