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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

The Durham Climate Roundtable, a collaborative model centred at Ontario Tech, is helping Durham Region’s leaders take climate action

Ontario Tech’s Brilliant Energy Institute works with community partners to build healthy net-zero communities

Town of Whitby Deputy Mayor Maleeha Shahid shares a message on behalf of Durham Regional Chair John Henry at the Durham Environment and Climate Forum at Ontario Tech University (November 14, 2023).
Town of Whitby Deputy Mayor Maleeha Shahid shares a message on behalf of Durham Regional Chair John Henry at the Durham Environment and Climate Forum at Ontario Tech University (November 14, 2023).

Governments, businesses and communities are working to address climate change globally through shifts in how they live, work and play. This includes how they power industries, heat and cool buildings and homes, grow food, and how they design and power communities and transportation.

Through the Durham Climate Roundtable, hosted at Ontario Tech, local government, businesses and organizations are working for change at a regional level, to ensure a thriving economy and healthy, resilient communities as they decarbonize.

In December 2022, Durham Regional Council unanimously endorsed the creation of a committee of independent, multi-sector representatives from across the region to lead action on climate through initiatives that track and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Durham Council also endorsed funding to establish the secretariat for this new leadership committee and its actions at Ontario Tech’s Brilliant Energy Institute (BEI).

The anchor to this work is an annual report on the Region’s progress toward the net-zero carbon emissions goal and overall greenhouse gas emissions and climate action, produced by Dr. Daniel Hoornweg of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS) and Research Associate Dave Wotten.

Throughout 2023, the BEI team set the foundation to track, strengthen and hold each other to account locally and globally on GHG emission reductions and other climate actions between now and 2050.

The DCR leadership committee was established and held meetings to discuss member actions, opportunities for collaboration and to begin the collaborative work on a trajectory forward.

On November 14, the first-annual public Durham Environment and Climate Forum was held in collaboration with the Durham Environmental and Climate Advisory Committee (DECAC). The evening featured a presentation on the report, DECAC award winners and a demonstration of the Region of Durham’s Climate Dashboard.


“No other community generates a comparable report with this volume of data and level of transparency. This annual study considers emissions, facilitates action on emission reduction, and supports change management within the municipal, industry and residential sectors. As the world struggles to make net-zero 2050 a reality, this kind of public engagement can be a model for other communities to learn from.”
-Dr. Dan Hoornweg, Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Ontario Tech University

“This year we set the building blocks in place for climate action to create a healthy, vibrant and resilient region for the well-being and prosperity of future generations.”
-John Henry, Durham Regional Chair, and Durham Climate Roundtable Leadership Committee Co-Chair