Climate Change Part Two
In 1994, Calgary was one of the first cities in Canada to sign on to the Partners for Climate Protection program. Then, in 2000, The City of Calgary introduced the radical idea of building a wind farm to power the CTrain. We joined nine of the world’s top energy cities to sign the 2009 Calgary Climate Change Accord, committing to bold but achievable greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets for municipal operations and wider communities. By 2012, City operations were running on 100 per cent renewable energy offsets.
At the time, our focus was primarily on City operations, which account for only four per cent of Calgary’s total GHG emissions. Now, we must focus on the other 96 per cent: how Calgarians build, use, and move about our city.
Council unanimously approved a Climate Resilience Strategy in June 2018, focusing on both mitigation and adaptation. At a basic level, mitigation strategies combat climate change by reducing GHG emissions, while adaptation strategies manage risks by adjusting to the impacts of a changing climate. Here are a few examples:
• Improve energy efficiency in new and existing infrastructure
• Encourage low-emission vehicles and transportation choices like walking, cycling, and transit
• Build low-carbon planning into how we design our city
• Conserve green spaces and natural areas
• Reduce and manage waste
• Reduce airborne emissions to improve air quality
• Strengthen our built environment to respond to power emergencies
• Strengthen our natural systems
• Prepare for increased risk of flooding, drought, and declining water quality
• Embed climate responsive processes in all City services
As we continue to aim for 80 per cent reduction in GHG emissions by 2050, the challenge ahead is significant. How will we manage to reach our targets? The answer often lies with Calgarians themselves. Many citizens came to speak in support of the Climate Resiliency Strategy and their voices made a clear impression on Council! Thanks to their efforts, my motion to establish a Climate Resilience Working Group comprised of community and industry representatives passed along with the plan. The only way we will make a difference is by working together. The community is already leading the way and the City must catch up.
To sign up for updates on key community and Ward 7 issues, please visit www.DruhFarrell.ca