Climate resilience

Provincial election 2023

Calgary matters in the 2023 Provincial Election. Calgary's Climate Strategy is our roadmap towards achieving a net zero and climate-resilient Calgary.

Review the information below to see how decisions made impact our quality of life here in Calgary, now and into the future. It will help you understand the issues, so you can make the best choice for you, your family and our city’s future on voting day.

Election day is May 29, 2023

Net zero emissions by 2050

Why is this important?

Calgary can be a more sustainable community that can manage the impacts of severe weather events, reduce emissions, build our green economy and play an active role in climate innovation. This is a crucial step in the global effort to limit global warming to 1.5 °C.

Modelling demonstrates that a net-zero future could lead to cumulative energy savings of $60-80 billion for Calgarians by 2050. By cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, transitioning our economy to reduced carbon activities and achieving net zero by 2050, Calgary could save as much as $4 billion each year in avoided energy costs. 

City Council has committed to reducing city-wide and corporate greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero by 2050. This is in alignment with cities around the world and the private sector. 

Calgary City Council includes climate resilience as a foundation of its 2023-2026 strategic direction.  

What do we mean by net zero emissions?

Net zero means cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible. This includes:

  • upgrading homes to improve energy performance
  • switching to zero emissions vehicles and expanding the transit network
  • removing emissions through planting trees or other forms of carbon capture

What does it mean to adapt to our changing climate?

Calgary experiences all kinds of weather, from hot dry summers and hailstorms to cold snowy winters. Our weather events are becoming more extreme. Climate adaptation refers to actions that reduce the negative impacts of climate change to businesses, homes and the environment, while taking advantage of potential new opportunities. Building a climate resilient Calgary will mean we are more prepared for extreme conditions that are made worse by climate change, including climate related events such as flood, drought and severe storms. 

How can governments work together to support Calgarians and businesses to achieve net zero?

Calgarians can participate in programs such as the Clean Energy Improvement Program, which saves them money, manages their energy and reduces their emissions. Businesses can participate in programs to better understand and reduce their energy use. The building industry contributes ideas and technologies to design and construct better buildings in Calgary. All of these actions support our goal of net zero emissions while also leading to job creation and diversification.   to job creation and diversification.  

Questions to ask your candidates

When candidates ask for your ideas and priorities, use this list of questions to find out how they will support Calgary and our community: 

Q: What are your party’s plans to address climate change?

Q: How will your party support Calgarians and businesses to be more climate resilient?

Q: How will your party plan for future extreme weather events by supporting important infrastructure, operations and policy needed to enhance flood, drought, water supply and climate resilience?

Q: What will your party do to ensure businesses and municipalities have access to funds and programs that are designed to help them to be resilient to climate related events and changes?

Bow River Reservoir Options Study

Why is this important?

Since the 2013 floods, The City of Calgary has undertaken a significant effort to reduce Calgary’s flood risk, protect Calgarians and prevent future catastrophic damage to homes, businesses, and vital infrastructure.

Flood mitigation work completed to date has reduced our city’s exposure to flood damage by more than 50 per cent. This would not have been possible without government commitment to the safety of Calgarians and considerable investment in flood mitigation. 

Once the Springbank Reservoir is complete, most of Calgary’s remaining flood risk will be on the Bow River.  Exploring options to build additional flood mitigation and drought storage capacity on the Bow River, through the Bow River Reservoir Options Study, is critical to long-term watershed resilience.

A new reservoir will contribute greatly to ensuring a secure water supply to support long-term regional growth while managing flood and drought risks in a changing climate.

Questions to ask your candidates

When candidates ask for your ideas and priorities, use this question to find out how they will support Calgary and our community: 

Q: How will your party invest and support The City’s work on long-term watershed resilience, such as mitigating river flooding?