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Calgary's Climate Program


The City of Calgary has a specialized team dedicated to facilitating City, citizen and business actions to reduce human causes of climate change, and prepare and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The team is developing a Climate Resilience Plan to be presented to council in mid-2018.

Climate Change Program Banner  
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We hosted the Calgary Climate Symposium, March 6 to 8, 2018. This is the first symposium we’ve hosted, bringing together community leaders, entrepreneurs, prominent climate experts and City of Calgary staff for a series of unique networking and learning opportunities.

View the presentations, videos of all the sessions and video interviews with the speakers below.

Join the climate conversation on social media: #talkingclimateyyc
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Calgary Climate Symposium

Talking Climate in Alberta with Katharine Hayhoe & George Marshall

Katharine Hayhoe and George Marshall, two of the world’s most brilliant climate communicators, explore what truly engages us as human beings, why values are more effective than graphs, and why we all need to get talking, and keep talking, about climate change. Discussion moderated by Shelley Youngblut, CEO & Creative Ringleader of Wordfest.

Presentation videos: Talking Climate Change
Interviews: Climate Change Communications with George Marshall and Katharine Hayhoe.

Katherine  
Katharine Hayhoe
Professor, Department of Political Science, Texas Tech University
Director of the Climate Science Center, Texas Tech University
George  
George Marshall
Co-founder of Climate Outreach
Shelley  
Shelley Youngblut
CEO & Creative Ringleader of Wordfest
 

A Changing Climate

Cli
ma
te scientists from Risk Sciences International and the Prairie Climate Centre present their latest research outlining risks and vulnerabilities Calgary will face as a result of a changing local climate. They also talk about actions cities can take to engage in climate risk management in a range of areas including transportation, agriculture, electricity infrastructure, disaster preparedness and emergency management.

Presentations:
What Will the Future Climate of Calgary Look Like - Heather Auld
Five Ways Cities are Building Climate Resilience - Anika Terton
Presentation videos: A Changing Climate
Interviews:
Climate Science - Heather Auld
Climate Science and Risk - Anika Terton

Heather  
Heather Auld
Principal Climate Scientist, Risk Sciences International
Anika  
Anika Terton
Project Manager, International Institute for Sustainable Development
 

Our Local Climate

An engaging look at the how climate change will impact Calgary and how we can respond and adapt. Presenters from Risk Sciences International, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Nodelcorp Consulting Inc., the Insurance Bureau of Canada and Calgary Emergency Management Agency will explore this topic with short presentations followed by a panel discussion.


Heather  
Heather Auld
Principal Climate Scientist, Risk Sciences International
Anika  
Anika Terton
Project Manager, International Institute for Sustainable Development
Joel  
Joel Nodelman
CEO, Nodelman Corp
Bill  
Bill Adams
Vice President, Western Canada division of the Insurance Bureau of Canada
Tom  
Tom Sampson
Chief of Calgary Emergency Management Agency
Harris  
Harris Switzman
Environmental Specialist
 

Climate Smart Cities

University of Leeds Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy present the results of the Low Carbon Economy Study, which assesses the climate impact and economic case for a variety of measures that can be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Presentations:
Climate Smart Cities - Andy Gouldson
Presentation videos: Climate Smart Cities
Interviews: Climate, Energy and Economy - Andy Gouldson and Caroline Saunders

Andy  
Andy Gouldson
Professor of Environmental Policy and Dean: Interdisciplinary Research, University of Leeds
Caroline  
Caroline Saunders
British Consul General, Calgary
 

Our Energy Story

Presenters from the University of Leeds, Calgary Economic Development, ATCO, ENMAX, BILD Calgary and ChargePoint explore our local energy story, and look at opportunities for innovation and economic growth with short presentations followed by a panel discussion.

Presentations:
The Economic Case for Energy Efficient, Low Carbon Development in Calgary - Andy Gouldson
Our Energy Story - Jeff Hilton
The Evolution of our Energy System - Mike Shaw
Calgary Climate Symposium Presentation - Suzanne Goldberg
Climate Change and the Building Industry - Guy Huntingford
Calgary's Clean Economy - Paolo Bomben and Emily Kneteman
Presentation videos: Our Energy Story
Interviews:
Climate, Energy and Economy - Andy Gouldson
Climate and Energy - Jeff Hilton
Climate and Energy - Mike Shaw
Electric Vehicles - Suzanne Goldberg
Climate and Development - Guy Huntingford
Climate, Energy and Economy - Caroline Saunders


Andy  
Andy Gouldson
Professor of Environmental Policy and Dean: Interdisciplinary Research, University of Leeds
Jeff  
Jeff Hilton
Vice President ENMAX Corporation
Mike  
Mike Shaw
Vice President, Gas Distribution, ATCO
Suzanne  
Suzanne Goldberg
Director Public Policy - Canada, ChargePoint
 
Guy  
Guy Huntingford
CEO BILD Calgary
Caroline  
Caroline Saunders
British Consul General, Calgary
Paolo  
Paolo Bomben
Delphi Group
Emily  
Emily Kneteman
Calgary Economic Development
 

What is a Climate Resilience Plan?

The Climate Resilience Plan will outline The City’s strategies and actions to improve energy management and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation) as well as implement risk management measures in preparation for current and future climate impacts (adaptation).

The Climate Resilience Plan will include a Climate Adaptation Plan, which will identify actions to reduce the impact of extreme weather events and climatic changes on infrastructure and services (e.g. disruption to transit services due to roadway flooding).

It will also include a Low Carbon Plan, which will identify the strategy and plan to reduce emissions and improve energy management in Calgary in line with our long-term 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

The Plan will identify opportunities for carbon reductions and energy management in key sectors, including buildings and energy systems, land-use and transportation, and consumption and waste needed to facilitate the successful transition to a low carbon future. Taking action to reduce 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.




Click the image to view a full size picture

Why do we need a Climate Resilience Plan?

Climate Risks Profile Calgary
Click the image to view a full size picture

Alberta has experienced significant changes in its climate in recent decades. Average annual temperatures are increasing significantly, increasing from 8 days to 9-to-34 heat days over 28°C by the 2050s and 22-to-68 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.

These climactic changes are expected to lead to a host of hazards, such as increasing severity and frequency of extreme weather events including more severe flooding, drought and storm events. These hazards have worrying implications for cities, including impacts on city water resources, failures of infrastructure when design assumptions are exceeded by changing conditions, impacts on human health and 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?

Climate change is caused by greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through the combustion of fossil fuels. In alignment with the Pan-Canadian Framework on clean growth and climate change, Calgary is playing 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 Calgary city boundaries.

Everyday activities such as heating and lighting our homes, moving around the city and disposing of our waste all contribute to the problem 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 City will present the Climate Resilience Plan to Council in Spring 2018. The recommended actions will comply with federal and provincial regulations, reduce the impact of extreme weather events and climatic changes on infrastructure and services, and identify ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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