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Net-zero emissions by 2050

Net-zero emissions by 2050

The City of Calgary has committed to city-wide emissions targets:

60 per cent reduction in Green House Gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2030.

Net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.

Calgary needs to take action on its fair share of global emissions by improving energy use and lowering Green House Gas (GHG) emissions through achieving net-zero by 2050.  It’s part of a global effort with other communities and cities from around the world to reduce the harmful effects of global warming and climate change. 

Achieving Calgary’s 2050 emissions target means the amount of GHG emissions that Calgary releases into the earth’s atmosphere will be the same amount of GHG emissions it removes from the earth’s atmosphere.

A prosperous economy

In Calgary, lowering emissions is an opportunity for a prosperous and future-proof economy that is green, diverse, and inclusive. It’s an important piece to Calgary’s future, as a city to make a life and empowers us to:

  • Support Calgary’s economy through the global energy transition.
  • Attract investment from orders of government and industry.
  • Create jobs and attract talent in growing sectors and new technology. 
  • Grow Calgary’s reputation as a city to make a great life, both globally and locally.
  • Support a healthy city for people living here now and future generations.
  • Show leadership, among global cities, in climate action.

On this page

Calgary is ready for a net-zero future

Our priority is getting new programs to market that lower emissions, as well as reduce impacts of climate change.

With the Climate Implementation Plan laying the foundation for the first four years (2023 - 2026), Calgary is taking real action to reduce emissions by:

  • Focusing actions and programs for Calgary’s residential communities, Calgary’s commercial buildings, Calgary’s mobility options and Calgary’s energy supply.
  • Protecting, restoring, and maintaining Calgary’s natural environment.
  • Reaching out and providing resources for Calgarians to take climate action.  

There are six themes that Calgary is focusing on to remove GHG emissions from the atmosphere, either through natural or technological ways. Within each theme, there are two to three Program Pathways that Calgary will focus on to reduce emissions:

The City of Calgary is taking action

As a municipal government, The City is responsible for reducing emissions from within Calgary’s city limits, even those emissions we don’t directly control. The City can directly and indirectly influence city-wide emissions in five key ways: 

  • City operations

    Where The City has direct ownership over the source of emissions, from capital and service delivery.

  • Education

    Programs that inform Calgarians on how to reduce emissions that they control.

  • Research and innovation

    Support innovation and pilot new technologies or approaches to reduce emissions.

  • Incentives and financing

    Adjust taxes and fees to make them climate-equitable and provide funding to lower the cost of reducing emissions.

  • Regulation

    Using jurisdictional powers to require emissions reductions.

Lowering emissions takes a community

When it comes to climate change action, we all have a role to play. The City of Calgary can’t do it alone, but our actions will benefit everyone. Climate action requires a community effort from all Calgarians, including businesses, industries, city-builders, organizations, educators, and institutions.

The programs that we’re leading provide resources and incentives for everyone. It’s important that everyone can participate in and benefit from our pathway to net-zero emissions, including local communities and equity-deserving people. These programs will neither place a financial burden nor penalize residents with low and moderate incomes or small businesses.

Integrating Indigenous perspectives is a foundational principle for the pathway to net-zero. The City commits to ethical space dialogue and to keep growing this work over the next four-year budget cycle and beyond.

Measuring Calgary’s progress

We measure climate action and GHG emissions through the greenhouse gas emissions inventory. The inventory is calculated based on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions released from activities that we know are primary sources of GHGs in Calgary:  ​

  • Buildings: Energy used in public, private, and industrial buildings for heating, cooling, power, and light (i.e., electricity and natural gas consumption). ​
  • Transportation: Energy used for vehicles, including public, commercial, and private (i.e., from diesel and gasoline).
  • Waste: Emissions from waste and wastewater facilities (i.e., methane)​.

In 2022, Calgary's GHG emissions were 16.38 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent: 3.7 per cent higher than in 2005.

It’s an issue that impacts Calgary’s community and the global community. Regardless of where you live, how you travel, your job or lifestyle, we all have a role to play in reducing Calgary’s GHG emissions to net-zero.