Ward 2 - Jennifer Wyness

Q&A with Cllr Wyness on the Climate Strategy Vote

Why did you vote against the Pathways to 2050 climate strategy?

On July 5th, Calgary City Council voted to approve the Calgary Climate Strategy - Pathways to 2050. I decided to vote against the strategy because it lacked clear metrics for achieving any of the goals that we have set out. Without having the framework of measuring, monetizing, and managing the climate strategy, we will not accomplish it. This is also why other cities that have declared climate emergencies before us are failing to meet targets.

What would have to change for you to support the climate strategy?

With the climate strategy, we had a directive off the climate emergency motion that I brought forward: Building Accountability into the Declaration of the Climate Emergency and Calls to Action. This is where Administration is supposed to be building those frameworks, which would allow us to measure and truly have a cost benefit analysis done. Unfortunately, none of these metrics were included in this document that Council voted on, nor what was directed to Administration to bring forward before we enter Budget Deliberations this coming November.

If such document comes forward with what was asked of Administration, only then will I look forward to supporting it because it will help us have the tangibles that we need to make sure that what we can control as a municipality can have an impact and can have an ‘action’. Until I see those metrics in this document, I cannot support this climate strategy.

What is your definition of "greenwashing"?

"Greenwashing" is just patting ourselves on the back when we vote ‘yes’ on a climate strategy. We need to make sure there’s a measurable there. The 98-page document brought forward was too large and all-encompassing, and it wasn't focused on what we can do as a municipality. There are small actions we can take, such as greening our fleet and buying electric vehicles, which would help reduce costs because then we are no longer dependant on fluctuating gas prices, and we can use those savings in other departments or other areas within the organization. The climate strategy must include a cost benefit analysis. Addressing climate does not necessarily have to come with only a cost, but there can be cost savings attached to it.

What else would you like residents to know about your stance?

I think it’s important that we all engage in this conversation. How do we achieve what we have set out for ourselves? It’s great to have a target, but if we haven’t even adjusted on the 2018 targets, this will only make the new target more difficult to accomplish. Not having that proper framework to achieve it will only make the next 40 years down the line more problematic without doing anything differently to address climate change. I hope you all continue to engage with one another, and please contact my office with your feedback.

Categories: Climate Strategy, Council and Committee, Engage, General, Pathways to 2050, Voting Record