Calgary’s Climate Plan
The City takes action in the face of a changing climate.
There is an old joke in Calgary that goes “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”
But in the wake of severe weather events like the flood of 2013 and the hail storm of 2010, The City knows the time for waiting is over.
A recent report ranks climate-fuelled flooding as the fastest-growing extreme weather challenge facing Canadian cities. And there are more enduring aspects of climate change. The number of heat waves in the province has doubled since 1950. And the trend will continue. Currently, we average 9 days a year of extreme heat (over 28°C). That is projected to rise to 27 days in the 2050s and 49 in the 2080s.
Before 2015, The City’s climate focus was on its own operations and buildings. Since then, it has been working with citizens and industry on larger initiatives. This collaboration resulted in the Climate Resilience Strategy, which Council adopted in June 2018. The strategy has two main goals:
- reduce The City’s contributions to climate change;
- take measures to reduce the impact of extreme weather events.
- improve building performance beyond current building code;
- support and enable uptake of electric vehicles;
- waste reduction in residential and commercial sectors.
The Adaptation Plan is The City saying, “Climate change is happening. How can we best cope with it?” It looks at things like power supply, the role of green space and severe weather response.
The plans are designed to achieve The City’s target of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 80% (from 2005 levels) by 2050. The documents will be updated every 4 years and reported on annually.
The strategy also creates the Calgary Climate Panel. It brings together The City, industry and community members to provide advice and turn the strategy into action.
These measures reflect The City’s realization that “business as usual will not get us to these goals.” It’s going to take collaboration and big ideas because when it comes to the climate, we’re all in this together.