A strategy that will take the city of Calgary toward its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 was approved by city councils late Tuesday night.
City councilors approved the updated climate plan by a 9-6 vote, replacing the previous strategy that has been in place since 2018.
count. Sean Chu, Sonya Sharp, Andre Chabot, Richard Pootmans, Jennifer Wyness and Dan McLean opposed it.
“Approval of the climate plan is a step that allows the city government to come to us in November with a comprehensive plan of action and an accompanying budget,” Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said after the council’s decision. “It was critical to move this forward so we can start taking action.”
The 99-page document entitled ways to 2050includes a mitigation plan to reduce emissions and an adaptation plan to strengthen the city’s resilience to more damaging weather events such as the June 2020 hailstorm.
According to Gondek, the strategy would integrate climate action into the way the city operates.
“This strategy is intended to guide action plans from all the different business units in the city to move us towards a more sustainable, greener and cleaner future,” said Gondek.
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If all of the plan’s actions were taken, the report would show that a total investment of $87 billion, or $3.1 billion annually, would be required by 2050.
However, the city government said the costs reported in the report are a cumulative — economy-wide investment — and are not fully recovered by Calgary taxpayers.
The plan includes funding from other levels of government, the private sector and action by individual Calgarians.
“We all care about the environment, but at what cost? That’s quite an ambitious plan,” said Ward 13 Coun. said Dan McLean. “What will that cost the average Calgarian?”
City councilors heard on Tuesday that the city administration would present a clear implementation plan with what is feasible.
“We will certainly provide you with a clear proposal of what is feasible and what we believe is affordable to recommend to you to help you make that decision,” said Stuart Dalgleish, general manager of planning and development for the City of Calgary , opposite the City Council.
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But the council heard that inaction on climate change could carry a higher price in the future, with an estimated annual climate risk of $2.6 billion by 2050, growing to $8 billion a year by 2080.
Earlier in the day, around 100 climate activists gathered on the front steps of City Hall to encourage the council to give its blessing to the strategy.
“This is a very important strategy, it’s about tackling climate change, but also about future prosperity for Calgary,” said Rob Tremblay of the Calgary Climate Hub. “It’s really important that the council know Calgarians are behind this.”
City models show that reaching net-zero could result in “cumulative energy savings” of up to $80 billion for Calgarians and $60 billion in gross domestic product generation by 2050.
“If you talk to any of the energy companies in our city, they all have clear goals, they have action plans on how they’re going to achieve those goals,” Gondek said, “that a local government says the same thing, and just as responsive, the capital markets take note of these things.” .”
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The strategy anticipates that all registered vehicles in Calgary will be zero emissions by 2050 and aims for all buildings in Calgary to be net zero by the same year; 57 percent of Calgary’s total emissions come from the energy used in the city’s residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
The local construction industry has criticized the feasibility of this part of the plan, which would require 19,000 homes and 317 commercial buildings to be retrofitted to net zero per year.
“The public needs to believe that, Ward 6 Coun. said Richard Pootmans. “Unless the public is enamored, not turned on by the excitement of being your own self-made net-zero home, that’s a fantasy right now.”
The city government said the strategy must be updated every five years in line with the city’s fiscal cycles to reflect evolving technologies.
More information on how the plan will be implemented is expected in November when the city council prepares the next four-year budget.
“I don’t think perfection should be the enemy of good,” Ward 3 Coun. said Jasmin Mian. “This is a good start.”
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8967784/city-council-greenlights-climate-strategy-calgary-net-zero-by-2050/ City Council greenlights climate strategy to bring Calgary to net zero by 2050 – Calgary