Resilient St. John's Climate Plan

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation. It is a sustainability cornerstone issue that needs to be addressed to achieve sustainable development and ensure that our efforts for long-term recovery are not undermined by the risks that climate change presents. Share your vision for the Resilient St. John's of the future.

The Resilient St. John’s Climate Plan focuses on this sustainability issue by addressing energy and climate change impacts. The plan will identify a 30-year Climate Action Strategy to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, while re-enforcing efforts to stabilize energy costs by supporting energy efficiency. It will also provide strategies to further prepare the City to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the impacts from climate change.

In 2021, be part of the conversation by:

  • Participate in the activity to help identify low-carbon actions that could be taken to help St. John's achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and about what is important to you when considering climate action:
  • Also, use the hazard mapping tool to identify any hazards you may have experienced in the past.

Note: If you are interested in hosting a Climate Conversation workshop, the City is glad to support your efforts by sharing resources and information. Please contact us to get a copy of the City Do it Yourself (DIY) Climate Workshop tool and guide, which was developed to support community groups with information and proposed questions to host a discussion about climate change.


Climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation. It is a sustainability cornerstone issue that needs to be addressed to achieve sustainable development and ensure that our efforts for long-term recovery are not undermined by the risks that climate change presents. Share your vision for the Resilient St. John's of the future.

The Resilient St. John’s Climate Plan focuses on this sustainability issue by addressing energy and climate change impacts. The plan will identify a 30-year Climate Action Strategy to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, while re-enforcing efforts to stabilize energy costs by supporting energy efficiency. It will also provide strategies to further prepare the City to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the impacts from climate change.

In 2021, be part of the conversation by:

  • Participate in the activity to help identify low-carbon actions that could be taken to help St. John's achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and about what is important to you when considering climate action:
  • Also, use the hazard mapping tool to identify any hazards you may have experienced in the past.

Note: If you are interested in hosting a Climate Conversation workshop, the City is glad to support your efforts by sharing resources and information. Please contact us to get a copy of the City Do it Yourself (DIY) Climate Workshop tool and guide, which was developed to support community groups with information and proposed questions to host a discussion about climate change.


Have Questions?

Review the materials on this page.  What do you need to know more about to fully participate in public engagement related to this topic?



loader image
Didn't receive confirmation?
Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why don't we have a tree plan? Most cities do. We need to protect our trees like we do ( or better than) heritage buildings! There should be a list of significant trees and people who own properties should be held to be responsible for their trees. The city should stop considering destroying green spaces!

    ae asked 7 months ago

    The City of St. John’s proactively manages its many trees, shrubs, and other vegetation in accordance with the direction provided by the City of St. John’s Urban Forest Master Plan. The plan was enacted in 2006, following consultation with various stakeholders and members of the public, and completion of an inventory of trees situated on, or over-hanging, City property. The plan includes baseline data, management goals, and numerous recommendations to achieve success. 

     The City of St. John's is committed to cultivating an urban forest that is diverse, attractive, and sustainable, and enhancing and building upon the City’s existing network or parks, green spaces, trails, and tree-lined streets. Further, the City recognizes that these goals can only be realized through implementation of long-term planning documents such as the Urban Forest Management Master Plan or the Parks and Open Space Master Plan. Documents such as these are used to guide the development of policy and inform decision making to ensure staff are working efficiently and effectively toward achieving the goals contained within these plans.  

    City staff work throughout the year to promote trees. Planting programs such as the Residential Re-Leaf Program, educate residents about the multitude of benefits that urban trees provide and encourage planting on private property.  City staff are also engaged in various other tree planting initiatives.  For example, this year, the City of St. John’s has partnered with the Federal and Provincial governments to complete a project that will see hundreds of trees planted across the city as part of a parkland naturalization program. 

    Staff also engage private landowners through the City’s building and development review processes. In this context, staff are responsible for implementing the City’s Landscape Development Policy and Street Tree Planting Standards. Through this work, staff ensure that where feasible, existing natural resources and parklands are protected and retained, and that space is provided to support the successful planting of trees, establishment of landscapes, and development of new park amenities.  

     The City of St. John’s recognizes the importance of urban trees and greenspaces and does work to promote, protect and enhance this vital resource.  The benefits that our urban forest provides, and the opportunities to improve its ecosystem services (e.g., greenhouse gas capture) will be taken into account throughout the development of strategies in the Resilient St. John’s Climate Community Plan.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Has the city considered how much Composting could help in climate change mitigation? Composting reduces landfill waste - meaning fewer black bags for residents and waste collectors to worry about. It also creates a valuable by-product that improves soil quality, boosts local farming, and strengthens our local flora. As such, it is a great method to lower CO2 emissions, while increasing CO2 absorbed by soils and plants. It also creates jobs based on a resource that's locally-available and free. St. John's already has some initiatives in place, such as subsiding composters to residents for $75. The city could see a better uptake by reducing the cost of composters to $40, and implementing a green-bin composting pickup program. Does the city plan to use composting to fight climate change?

    CJay45 asked 8 months ago

    In our Community’s inventory of energy use and greenhouse gas emission we identified that approximately 3% of the greenhouse gas emission (GHGs) in our community come from our solid waste and wastewater (this would include organic waste). This is specifically the emissions from the community of St. John’s. The planning process will look at this GHGs contribution and discuss with stakeholders, provincial government, and the public to identify implementable strategies that support the reduction of waste’s contribution to the emissions of our community. Composting and its contribution to decreasing greenhouse gas emission from waste is certainly something that will be discussed with the stakeholder team and the public. Thank you for your idea and perspective on how the existing program could be improved and the benefits of a green-bin program.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Will the city be looking to plant more trees and vegetation? Areas like the downtown, and along major roadways are huge opportunities. A big miss by the city was the recent construction on Kenmount Road. By not adding a strip of land between the cars and sidewalk, or planting any trees. In many winter cities a grassy or planted portion separates pedestrians on the sidewalk from vehicle traffic. It creates a more aesthetically pleasing landscape while adding the benefit of the trees and plantings on greenhouse gasses. The trees also help with areas where water run off and erosion are problems. Downtown would feel better to walk in with trees, in addition to the shade and shelter they provide. Some argue it is a "snowclearing issue", however, many Canadian cities in heavy snow zones have more trees in their downtowns and along roadways. Even if it's not a tree there are many hardy plants that can add to the quality of life while reducing greenhouse gasses and mitigating storm water run off.

    Meggan asked 12 months ago

    Using trees and vegetation (natural infrastructure) for capture of greenhouse gases are certainly actions that will be discussed through this process to a Net-Zero St. John’s strategy. It is important to note that if the goal is for capturing and storing greenhouse gases to fight climate change, the density of the plant’s trunk (biomass) and the lifespan of the trees is very important. Because of those considerations, trees planted to fight climate change usually are planted in places where the City can make sure that the trees won’t be disturbed or cut for 10-30 years depending on the type of plants (near trails, parks, community spaces, etc). However, the beautification of our City in the example you give, is also an important consideration to keep in mind in these discussions and vegetation can play a role in reducing water run off. Thank you very much for bringing attention to this item and for your comments.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The Bike Master Plan won't help climate change. Cutting down trees, removing vegetation and paving over gravel trails will only increase runoff. Urbanization is one of the the main factors in urban flooding, so why urbanize the already narrow trail green space? Given out weather (ie. long winters, high winds and horizontal rain, slush, snow, black ice) it is only the diehards that will use a bike to commute. Most of St. John's roads are plenty wide for biking as subdivisions built since the 1960's have roads designed wide enough so kids could ride safely, its the downtowm roads that are a problem as they were built prior to cars and paving the trails won't help. The Plan is only window dressing with no real benefit. The proposed Kellys Brook Trial has 12 road crossing over 4.8km and that will make for an unenjoyable ride.

    Austin413 asked 12 months ago

    Thanks for your question. 

    • The vision of the Bike St John’s Master Plan is for more people to cycle in the city. The plan proposes a mix of on-street and off-street bike routes as part of an integrated mobility network, supported by policies and programs. If the city achieves its vision it means we’ll see a shift in how people choose to move in the city. All motor-vehicle trips that are replaced by sustainable modes (bike, walk, transit) help with climate change.
    • Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use Path is the first project from the Bike Master Plan. The shared-use path will be designed for use by people of all ages and abilities. Public engagement for this project will be starting soon - please follow the project page to stay involved. Public input will inform design elements such as lighting, surface material choice, path alignment, trailhead and rest area design, wayfinding, and other decisions that may emerge during the design process. Environmental impacts of trail upgrades will be evaluated and avoided or mitigated. Street crossings will be upgraded to be safer and more comfortable. 



  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    we need gooseberry hedgerows and fruit trees. all the money spent on artificial trees could of saved the atmosphere. With the projected trends with co2 increase. does the city intend to take this model and use for carbon mitigation ? Fruit tree based hedgerows / I get disheartened seeing christmas trees and maples instead of plum cherry apple and gooseberry. I often see panhandlers picking yew berries on people's lawns and it makes me think about these things . Thankyou

    peterboland19 asked 12 months ago

    Thank you very much for the comments. Using natural infrastructure for various purposes, including trees for capture of greenhouse gases is certainly an action that will be discussed as part of the types of actions that can lead to a Net-Zero St. John’s.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I doubt many citizens know much about climate change and how to fix it. My suggestion concerns garbage collection. I see the trucks stop every 60-70 feet in my neighbourhood. If people combined their garbage with their neighbour, if possible, trucks could go 140-150 feet. This should be less wear on the brakes and less fuel to drive the truck. Ask people to put their cart out only when full, so there could be less stops for the trucks. Especially downtown with no carts, ask the people to group 4-5 houses for their garbage to have less stops for the trucks.

    Robert Royle asked 12 months ago

    Efficiencies in the delivery of services (like garbage collection) in a way that it conserves energy is an important aspect of the City’s commitment to reducing its own emissions. We will share the thoughts provided in this section with the St. John’s Sustainability team for them to be discussed as the planning process continues. Thank you for your ideas.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why isn’t sources of green house gases listed as a drop down window option for the map of hazards hazards?

    Jjj asked 12 months ago

    The goal of the Hazard tool is to capture the hazards and impacts from climate change that the Community needs to adapt to. The mitigation of greenhouse gases began with an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in our operations, as well as the community as a whole. The full report is available here: http://stjohns.ca/publications/energy-and-greenhouse-gas-inventory. The best data available to date was used, and the estimates were verified by a third party (the Federation of Canadian Municipalities) to ensure it is consistent with how other municipalities across Canada quantify their contributions to climate change. Some limitations exist, but improvements are expected as new data is available over time. Please consider engaging in our November 19th session to provide thoughts and ideas on mitigation, as well as risks and opportunities.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Has the council considered the adverse effects of being such a pedestrian and bicycle unfriendly city? If the council put priority on public transit, bicycle and pedestrian traffic then people could have an easier time moving to more environmentally friendly modes of transport. The city is awful for not having crosswalks. I have seen signs warning of pedestrians likening to cross in the area with no crosswalks. On logy bay road there are multiple bus stops requiring pedestrians to jaywalk across 5 lanes of traffic to get to the residential areas they are meant to serve. Kenmount road is awful to navigate as a pedestrian, moreso in the constant construction which removes sidewalks with no warning and no crosswalk. Every winter I wonder if it's worth it to walk while being pelted with ice water mere inches from traffic on "priority one" streets. The city cannot say its addressing climate change without putting pedestrians and other more environmentally friendly modes of transport before gas guzzling private vehicles.

    Gerogie18 asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your question. There is definitely work on this file, and a way to go to achieve a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly city. Various conversations about these effects have been had in the context of various initiatives and work is ongoing to improve this. For example, the adverse effects, and the will to improve, was reflected in the development of the St. John’s Bike Master Plan, Kelly’s Brook Shared Used Path, the Downtown Pedestrian Mall, in snow clearing priority considerations, and other initiatives aimed to support shifts of modes of transportation. The Resilient St. John’s Plan could support these efforts and the decisions by incorporating the benefits of various strategies towards shifting modes of transportation as a way to mitigate climate change. The planning process will allow us to incorporate existing plans and new ideas, while using the energy and economic model of St. John’s to provide a clearer picture of the economic opportunity, the costs, potential savings to the residents, while keeping other adverse effects in mind (e.g., social, economic and environmental).

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I previously lived in Canberra, Australia, and there, the city/territory had a policy for new developments that was focused on forcing/encouraging new housing developments to be structured so that the homes being constructed could take advantage of passive heating/cooling. Additionally, for home sales and apartment rentals, the seller/landlord had to provide energy efficient ratings for the homes/units being rented/sold so that home buyers and renters were able to better understand the energy costs of buying/renting particular homes (https://www.environment.act.gov.au/cc/act-climate-change-strategy/buildings-and-land-use). Doing this creates a market-based incentive for home owners and landlords to make their homes/rental properties more energy efficient and increase their competitiveness on the property market or rental market. Is there any chance of having similar policies implemented here?

    aaronta asked about 1 year ago

    As part of the St. John’s Climate Resilience Plan we are working with the public through public engagement and workshops with the Multi-Stakeholder Sustainability Team (MSST) to come up with implementable projects and policy ideas. The MSST is important as it includes various stakeholders involved in policies like what you mention. To inform the timing, impact and economics of these actions, a comprehensive environmental and economic study is going to be used to identify what the environmental and economic impacts of various project and policy ideas could be in our City. This will help us set a path that addresses the energy transition and adaptation to climate change while maintaining the economics of our community in mind.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    We are seeing increasingly worse storms, year round. What mitigation efforts are underway and what plans are being made to deal with the consequences of damage caused by the wind, rain and snow with worsening storms caused by climate change?

    aabidgood asked about 1 year ago

    The St. John’s Climate Resilience Plan is the plan that will address climate adaptation (reducing risk to climate change) and mitigation (reducing our greenhouse gas emissions) directly. To help inform this process the City reviewed the available projections for our City. However, the City is not just starting now. The City has been taking several steps to adapt to climate change in various ways. For example, the City worked with the provincial government to adapt to worsening storms by adopting updated floodplains that incorporate climate change projections into our river’s floodplains, the City has been studying and protecting wetlands, the City is developing a comprehensive stormwater management policy that includes climate change, and has been including climate change projections in our ongoing hazard assessments which support the City’s emergency response plan. Through the Resilient St. John’s Climate Plan we will work with the community and stakeholders to further identify vulnerabilities, risks, and ways that our community as a whole can work together to adapt to these changes. We encourage you to use our Hazard Map to show where some of these hazards have manifested in our community.

Page last updated: 17 February 2021, 15:45