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Calgary's Climate Program


The City of Calgary facilitates City, citizen and business actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, manage energy use, and prepare for and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.

The City of Calgary's Climate Program is designed to build climate resilience and support the 100 Resilient Cities framework. The program was established in 2017 as a commitment and approach to minimize and prepare for risks from a changing climate.

Climate Change Program Banner
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What is the Climate Resilience Strategy?

Council approved the Climate Resilience Strategy on June 25, 2018.

The Climate Resilience Strategy outlines The City’s strategies and actions to:

  1. Reduce our contributions to climate change by improving energy management and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (climate change mitigation); and
  2. Respond to a changing climate by implementing risk management measures to reduce the impact of extreme weather events and climatic changes on infrastructure and services (climate change adaptation).

To read the full strategy report or see the mitigation and adaptation actions The City is committed to completing, see Calgary Climate Actions.

The Climate Resilience Strategy complies with federal and provincial regulations and identifies greenhouse gas emissions targets:

  • 20 per cent reduction in city-wide emissions below 2005 levels by 2020
  • 80 per cent reduction in city-wide emissions below 2005 levels by 2050

Taking action to reduce the impacts of climate change has the potential to also reduce energy expenditures, improve comfort and livability, improve health and reduce carbon levy costs for citizens, businesses and The City.




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What is Climate Change?

Climate change is a change in climate patterns, both globally and locally, caused by an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, produced primarily through the combustion of fossil fuels. This change has been occurring for an extended period of time (decades or longer) and is resulting in a shift in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events as well as a change in where these events might normally occur.

Climate change is a risk multiplier, increasing the severity and frequency of extreme weather events such as flooding, heat waves, winter storms, drought, wildfires and high wind events.

Historical Canadian climate data from 1898 to 2016 illustrates warming trend provided by the Prairie Climate Centre.



What are the local impacts of climate change?

Climate Risks Profile Calgary
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Alberta has experienced significant changes to its climate in recent decades. Average annual temperatures in Alberta are expected to increase from nine to 27 heat days (29°C or above) per year by the 2050s and up to 49 heat days by the 2080s, depending on global and local actions to reduce carbon pollution. Just as a fever can be dangerous in our body, a change of a few degrees can have significant and dangerous impacts on the climate.

Climate modelling tells us that Calgary will experience more severe and frequent extreme weather events such as flooding, drought and the effects of wildfires.

Climate change hazards have worrying implications for cities, including impacts on city water resources, damage to and failure of infrastructure, threats to human health and increased mortality.

This diagram illustrates the likelihood and consequence of the local impacts of and risks from climate change.


How does Calgary contribute to climate change?

In alignment with the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, Calgary is doing its part to reduce emissions and drive clean growth. In Calgary, we track the amount of greenhouse gas emissions added to the atmosphere every year through activities that happen within our city boundaries.

Everyday activities such as heating and lighting our homes, moving around the city and disposing of our waste all contribute to the challenge of climate change. In 2016, 62 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions in Calgary were as a result of heating, lighting and power demands in buildings. Thirty-seven per cent of emissions were due to transportation emissions (gasoline and diesel usage) and the remaining one per cent was from methane emissions from our landfills.

City of Calgary operations (our buildings and facilities, our fleet, our landfills) represent four per cent of the total emissions in Calgary. The remaining 96 per cent comes from the residential, commercial, industrial and institutional sectors in Calgary.


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Calgary Traffic Picture
Calgary Suburbs Picture

How can municipalities respond to climate change?

Image of Solar Panels

The research series Building a Climate-Resilient City by the Prairie Climate Centre, in collaboration with the cities of Calgary and Edmonton, outlines steps cities can take to engage in climate risk management in a range of areas, including transportation, agriculture, electricity infrastructure, disaster preparedness and emergency management.


How is The City of Calgary supporting greenhouse gas reductions?


What else is the City of Calgary doing to prepare for climate change?


Climate change tools and resources for citizens