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Calgary Climate Symposium

2021 Calgary Climate Symposium

Exploring opportunities for economic recovery through climate resilience

2021 Calgary Climate Symposium Sessions


The City of Calgary hosted The 2021 Calgary Climate Symposium on March 25 and 26, exploring how Calgary can prepare for the impacts of a changing climate; how Calgary can leverage economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to unlock new business opportunities and strengthen climate change resilience; innovative solutions to climate change; and much more. Session videos are posted below.

Opening Keynote Address Net Zero: A Strategy for Resilience and Renewal

Opening Keynote Address Net Zero: A Strategy for Resilience and Renewal

Event description: The year 2020 will be known for many things - a global sea change regarding the shift to a clean economy will not likely top the list. However, underneath and interwoven with the COVID-19 pandemic and political polarization, Net Zero emerged as a unifying concept bringing a new understanding of opportunity and optimism to energy and climate policy. Dr. Bruce Lourie will be sharing with us his deep understanding of energy and climate policy within the context of Net Zero. 

Presenter: Dr. Bruce Lourie, Influential Environmental Policy Expert and Bestselling Author.

Dr. Bruce Lourie

Building Calgary’s New Economy Through Climate Resilience

Building Calgary’s New Economy Through Climate Resilience

Event description: The economic risks posed by climate change are no longer theoretical. The fiscal wreckage left by some of our country’s most devastating floods, wildfires and hailstorms still linger years later in our city and province. These events are exacerbated by additional crises impacting citizens and businesses: COVID-19, systemic racism, the downturn in our oil and gas sector, etc. Now is the moment to future-proof our city. Calgary is building momentum to be a global powerhouse in clean technology (clean tech) and we would be wise to leverage these strengths in our efforts to protect our economy and environment.

Presenter: Jason Ribeiro, Former Director of Strategy at Calgary Economic Development and Researcher at the University of Calgary.

Jason Ribeiro

Energy vs Climate Episode 15: Rebuilding Alberta's Energy Sector (A live podcast recording)

Energy vs Climate Episode 15: Rebuilding Alberta's Energy Sector (A live podcast recording)

Event description: As Albertans we want to build Alberta back better. What does this mean for Albertans and Calgarians, the future of jobs in the energy sector, new technologies and the roles of government and industry in addressing climate change? The Energy vs Climate Podcast is partnering with the Calgary Climate Symposium to produce a live symposium podcast, so bring your comments and questions for hosts David Keith, Sara Hastings-Simon and Ed Whittingham, then relive it on Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Presenters: David Keith, Harvard Professor, founder of Carbon Energy, former University of Calgary Professor.

Sara Hastings-Simon, senior research associate at the Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines, research fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.

Ed Whittingham, clean energy policy/finance consultant and fellow at the Public Policy Forum.

Climate Considerations in Calgary’s Transportation System – The City of Calgary

Climate Considerations in Calgary’s Transportation System – The City of Calgary

Event description: This will be an informative and wide-ranging presentation that outlines: land use and mobility aspects of energy use; strategic approaches to energy management including environmental management systems and sustainability design tools; fuel-switching from diesel to compressed natural gas and electric vehicles; transportation network changes made to be more resilient to a changing climate; and unconventional approaches to roadside vegetation management being explored for increased carbon sequestration and resilience to drought.

Presenter: Ethan Askey, Manager Sustainability Strategy for Transportation at The City of Calgary.

Ethan Askey

Introducing the Calgary Climate Innovation Fund managed by Alberta Ecotrust & Making your business more cost-competitive: efficiency incentives from Emissions Reduction Alberta

Introducing the Calgary Climate Innovation Fund managed by Alberta Ecotrust & Making your business more cost-competitive: efficiency incentives from Emissions Reduction Alberta

Event description: Part 1: Alberta Ecotrust is very excited to launch in 2021 the new $40-million Climate Innovation Fund. Partnering with the two largest municipalities in Alberta, we will implement a local program framework in each city to identify, invest in and scale up carbon reduction solutions. The Climate Innovation Fund is designed to amplify The City of Calgary’s Climate Resilience Strategy, providing a tremendous opportunity to continue to build on the strengths of an active and creative climate action ecosystem. 

Part 2: In 2021, we are all looking toward Alberta’s recovery and rebuilding. On Feb 1, 2021, Emissions Reduction Alberta’s (ERA) Energy Savings for Business Program opened to applications. Incentives for a wide range of energy saving technologies and up to $250,000 in funding per project will help small- and medium-sized businesses save energy and money. ERA is looking forward to sharing program opportunities and how you can get involved.

Presenters: Mike Mellross, Program Director of the Climate Innovation Fund, Alberta Ecotrust.

Luca Jungen, Program Manager, Emissions Reduction Alberta.

Mike Mellross

Luca Jungen

Intact Insurance: Climate focused investment strategies that minimize risk

Climate focused investment strategies that minimize risk

Sponsored by: Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation

Event description: This presentation will focus on the manifestation of climate change as extreme weather, associated financial implications and demonstrations of how risk is growing within Canadian markets.

The presentation will highlight widespread industry sector impacts of climate change, Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, Canadian standards and guidelines, and work the Intact Centre has completed to guide limiting extreme weather risk.

Presenter: Kathryn Bakos, Director, Climate Finance and Science of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation.

Kathryn Bakos

ENMAX: Innovating for tomorrow while meeting the energy needs of today

ENMAX: Innovating for tomorrow while meeting the energy needs of today

Sponsored by: ENMAX

Event description: In this session, our panelists will discuss how ENMAX is preparing its grid to meet evolving electricity needs – from electric vehicles to distributed solar generation, how we’re finding efficiencies in our generation operations – including the installation of a hybrid battery and optimization of wastewater use, how we’re helping our communities through the social impacts of climate change, and how we’re supporting the regulatory and policy space to build our systems in a way that fosters agility and innovation.

Panelists: Terri-Lynn Duque, Director of Strategic Innovation, ENMAX Power. 

Wayne Calder, Director of Customer Care at ENMAX.

Jason Doering, Vice President of Safety, Environment and Support Services at ENMAX.

Moderator: Andrew McVie, Manager, Corporate Planning and Performance Management, ENMAX.

Terri-Lynn Duque

Wayne Calder

Jason Doering

Andrew McVie

Ready Business: Is your business prepared for a disaster?

Ready Business: Is your business prepared for a disaster?

Event description: As we have experienced, disasters can strike without warning. Learn about the risks in Calgary that may affect your business operations, how you can prepare your business ahead of time through the development and implementation of a business continuity plan, and learn what to expect after the emergency or disaster has occurred.

Presenter: The Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) plans and coordinates emergency services and resources during major emergencies and disasters. We work with city services, emergency responders and other partners, communities, businesses and non-profit agencies to mitigate risks and help Calgary prepare, respond to, and recover from a disaster.

Unlocking the Full Potential of Existing Buildings: BOMA BEST

Unlocking the Full Potential of Existing Buildings: BOMA BEST

Event description: This session will provide an overview of who BOMA represents, highlight the For Industry, By Industry approach taken by the voluntary certification program, the elements of property management it covers, and provide real-life examples of how continuing to remain certified provides leads to more climate-resilient and environmentally-friendly properties.

Presenter: Jay Islam, Policy and Government Affairs Advisor for BOMA Calgary.

Jay Islam

Watershed in a Changing Climate: Highlighting the Bioengineering Demonstration and Education Project – The City of Calgary

Watershed in a Changing Climate: Highlighting the Bioengineering Demonstration and Education Project – The City of Calgary

Event description: How is climate change shifting precipitation patterns in Calgary, how will our watershed be affected and what is The City doing to address some of these challenges through its climate action plan? The Bioengineering Demonstration and Education Project is a joint effort between The City of Calgary and Alberta Environment and Parks and aims to improve fish habitat and stabilize slopes between Pearce Estate Park and the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. The project offers a unique opportunity to urban planners, environmental consultants and engineers, and you will learn more about it in this session.

Presenter: Maggie Nelson, Public Program Coordinator, Water Resources, City of Calgary.

Maggie Nelson

Leading Companies and Their Audacious Goals

Leading Companies and Their Audacious Goals

Event description: Join Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR), Canada’s leading network for business as a force for good, to learn about great climate initiatives being taken by our members. CBSR membership includes 40 leading companies from across the country, representing all sectors of the economy. At the session you will have a chance to hear some of their stories and learn about their commitment to responsible business practices and to helping to build a sustainable, prosperous, and socially-just future in a generation.

Presenter: Leor Rotchild, Executive Director, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility.

Presenter:
Sian Barraclough, Vice President, Strategy & Sustainability, Capital Power

Presenter: Rob Cummings, Director Environment & Public Affairs, Lafarge Canada

 

Leor Rotchild

Sian Barraclough

Rob Cummings

University of Calgary’s Climate Ambition: Innovating Toward a Net Zero Campus

University of Calgary’s Climate Ambition: Innovating Toward a Net Zero Campus

Event description: In 2020, the University of Calgary reduced its annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 per cent, representing more than 80,000 tonnes of annual emissions reductions and the equivalent of 17 large scale wind turbines running for a full year.

This session will highlight the innovative approaches the university is taking to reach a 50 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 on a path to becoming a net zero campus by 2050. From net zero buildings, to existing building energy retrofits, to decarbonizing energy supply, this session aims to inspire your ambition.

Presenters: Joanne Perdue, Architect AAA, MRAIC, LEED Fellow, and Associate Vice President, Sustainability at the University of Calgary

Adam Stoker, Sustainability Consultant with the University of Calgary’s Office of Sustainability

Joanne Perdue

Adam Stoker

Energy Efficiency: Opportunity in Scale – The City of Calgary

Energy Efficiency: Opportunity in Scale – The City of Calgary

Event description: Development and building energy efficiency opportunities vary significantly on the scope of buildings; budgets, technology availability and required expertise all change with the type and size of the building. This session will explore how to accommodate energy efficient designs at all scales.

Presenter: Justin Pockar, Customer Advisory Services Manager, Calgary Building Services, City of Calgary

Justin Pockar

Location Data and Solar Potential Map - The City of Calgary

Location Data and Solar Potential Map - The City of Calgary

Event description: In this session, use about our Solar Potential Map, which can be used as a preliminary solar opportunity assessment tool and was just refreshed in 2020.

Presenters: Camal Dharamdial, Innovation & Business Development Lead, City of Calgary.

Mike Alfawicki, Geospatial Business Specialist, City of Calgary.

Closing the Gap

Closing the Gap

Event description: Achieving our commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions is a journey that requires more than just technology and innovation. This presentation will guide participants through exciting innovations and solutions to transform your home into a net zero space. Whether you are looking to update an existing home or build a new single family or multi-family home, we will introduce you to the latest technology and designs that will enable you to significantly minimize your household’s environmental footprint.

Presenters: Peter Darlington, Founder of Solar Homes Inc.

Dave Desormeaux, President and COO, Jayman BUILT Single Family

Chris Williams, Vice President, Avalon Master Builder

Peter Darlington

Dave Desormeaux

Chris Williams

Smart, Sustainable and Resilient: How to get the buildings we want

Smart, Sustainable and Resilient: How to get the buildings we want

Event description: Our buildings are the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide. The fight against climate change starts with ensuring that our existing buildings deliver what we need out of them and nothing more while creating buildings that use smarter technology to achieve a sustainable future.

In this presentation, the presenters will highlight the latest practices, technologies and trends enabling energy efficient buildings – both in retrofitting existing buildings and new construction. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A segment.

Presenter: Wade Reda, Intelligent Infrastructure Solutions Manager, Siemens Canada.

Mark Byvelds, Energy Services Manager, Siemens Canada.

Wade Reda

Mark Byvelds

Cities Taking Freight Action

Cities Taking Freight Action

Event description: As e-commerce activity and the demand for same-day and home deliveries grow, more freight vehicles are expected to hit the road in Canadian cities. This will contribute to not only increasing carbon pollution, but also greater traffic congestion, noise on our streets and competition for the curbside. In order to keep up with soaring demand for goods movement while mitigating the negative impacts of freight activity in dense urban areas, some businesses are rethinking their delivery operations, turning to solutions such as microhubs and cargo bikes, off-peak deliveries, and curbside management. This presentation will explore these topics and share findings from recent research on reducing carbon emissions from urban deliveries.

Presenter: Mark Stout, Senior Analyst, Pembina Institute.

Mark Stout

Commercial and Institutional Building Energy Benchmarking program

Commercial and Institutional Building Energy Benchmarking program

Event description: Presenters from The City of Calgary, Natural Resources Canada, the Calgary Board of Education, and Concert Properties will take us for a dive into the world of building energy benchmarking and performance.

You’ll be introduced to energy benchmarking as the process of creating a baseline of understanding for your building performance.

Along with this, some of the free benchmarking tools and resources such as ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and The City of Calgary’s Commercial and Institutional Benchmarking program will be described.

You’ll also learn how energy benchmarking data can be integrated into broader energy management strategies that prioritize the implementation of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction projects across portfolios.

Presenters: Brent Downey, City of Calgary Energy Advisor.

Olena Olafson, Sustainability Consultant, Calgary Board of Education.

Leo Glaser, Environmental Sustainability Manager, Concert Properties.

Trina Kennedy, Senior Program Officer, Natural Resources Canada.

Brent Downey

Trina Kennedy

Olena Olafson

Leo Glasser

Innovation and Decarbonization in Natural Gas Distribution

Innovation and Decarbonization in Natural Gas Distribution

Event description: ATCO is privileged to be the distribution utility providing reliable and affordable natural gas service to Calgarians. This presentation will focus on innovation initiatives ATCO is pursuing in the natural gas system that are reducing emissions, lowering customer costs, increasing business competitiveness and creating local jobs.

These initiatives include: hydrogen blending, renewable natural gas (RNG), energy efficiency, natural gas for transportation fleets, combined heat and power (CHP), customer-premise carbon capture technologies and new rate design. Opportunities and barriers to building back better will be discussed.

Presenters: David Conn, Manager of Energy Systems Policy for ATCO Utilities Natural Gas Division.

Justin Pullukatt, Director, Strategic Initiatives & Technology for ATCO Utilities Natural Gas Division.

David Conn

Justin Pullukatt

The role of deep retrofits in meeting Calgary's climate and resilience goals

The role of deep retrofits in meeting Calgary's climate and resilience goals

Event description: Retrofitting the buildings where we live and work is critical for addressing greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, retrofitting existing buildings can increase safety, improve occupant health, make housing more affordable; and aid in economic recovery and create jobs.

This presentation will outline how deep energy retrofits can help Calgary meet environmental, as well as social, and economic objectives and highlight the technology, innovation, tools and leaders helping us get there.

Presenters: Madi Kennedy, Analyst, Pembina Institute.

Betsy Agar, Senior Analyst, Pembina Institute.

Madi Kennedy

Betsy Agar

An Overview of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Recommendations

An Overview of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Recommendations

Event description: The interest for climate-related financial disclosures has been building over the past number of years. Organizations, particularly accounting and financial professionals, need to understand the drivers behind climate-related disclosures, how to disclose information that will satisfy key stakeholders including investors, and how organizations can manage climate-related risks and opportunities going forward. This session will cover these topics with a particular focus on TCFD and create space for peer-to-peer dialogue.

Presenter: Robyn Seetal, CPA, CA, Principal Consultant, IkTaar Sustainability; Director, Local Investing YYC.

Robyn Seetal

Alberta’s Emerging Economy: A blueprint for job creation by 2030

Alberta’s Emerging Economy: A blueprint for job creation by 2030

Event description: As Alberta's innovators and entrepreneurs look for solutions in a quickly changing world, the province’s emerging economy is well-positioned to lead the way to a low-carbon future. In this analysis the Pembina Institute estimates how many green jobs could be created in the province by 2030 under four key sectors of the economy: electricity, oil and gas, transportation, and buildings. We found that at least 67,200 full-time jobs can be created across these four areas over the next decade.

Presenter: Binnu Jeyakumar Director, Clean Energy, Pembina Institute.

Binnu Jeyakumar

Food Systems and Climate Adaptation

Food Systems and Climate Adaptation

Event description: Join us to learn about the CalgaryEats! Food Action Plan and followed by two presentations form the University of Calgary, Sustainability Studies, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape.

We will delve into lessons from COVID-19 and leveraging untapped resources can address climate-based food system vulnerabilities. Climate change is a clear and present danger to food security in cities around the world. As the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated, food systems across Canada and the USA are vulnerable to disturbances impacting food supply and access.

Additionally, COVID-19 highlighted the importance of regional food production and distribution links in strengthening resilience of the local food system to address food security concerns during a crisis; the need for which is possibly even more important for climate change. Calgary and the surrounding region have untapped resources that could strengthen the city’s resilience to climate-based impacts that will affect food insecurity.

Citing examples across North America, this talk will highlight lessons illuminated by the COVID-19 pandemic and how leveraging local untapped resources can equally address food insecurity, climate change resilience, and economic recovery. Such untapped resources include regional regenerative agriculture, geothermal energy from orphan wells to heat greenhouses, and urban agriculture using technologies such as hydroponics.

An Urban Indoor Hydroponics Network – Building a climate resilient local food production system in Calgary Climate projections present significant uncertainty for agriculture production, this uncertainty is only compounded by immediate shocks to our global food system like the COVID-19 pandemic.

These uncertainties facing the existing food system demonstrate the need for resilient and diversified food production strategies. Indoor hydroponics applications, like those found in container farms, showcase an opportunity for increased local food production in locations where food production capacity is limited.

While there may be a business case for deploying a network of indoor hydroponic units around the city, this talk focuses on exploring an indoor hydroponics network through a community development and resilience lens.

Presenters: Kristi Peters, B.A., M.E.M. Food Systems Planner, The City of Calgary.

Alexander Wilkinson, PhD Candidate, University of Calgary, Sustainability Studies, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape.

Tatenda Mambo, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Calgary, Sustainability Studies, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape.

Kristi Peters

Alexander Wilkinson

Tatenda Mambo

Let’s Get Climate Active! How to Engage Students of All Ages in Climate Education and Solutions

Let’s Get Climate Active! How to Engage Students of All Ages in Climate Education and Solutions

Event description: Climate change is one of the most pressing issues we face. A recent survey of more than 500 Alberta youths reveals a strong majority of students are concerned about climate change and want to learn what we can do to address it. Whether you teach grade 1 or grade 12, understanding what climate change means for you and your students provides a rich and engaging opportunity for cross-curricular learning as you explore the scientific and social dimensions - and the solution space - of this important and timely topic.

Presenter: Marie Tremblay, Senior Education Advisor, Alberta Council for Environmental Education.

Marie Tremblay

Emerald Documentary Series – Mini Film Festival

Emerald Documentary Series – Mini Film Festival

Event description: Join the Alberta Emerald Foundation, our province’s environmental good-news storytellers, as they bring the 2021 Virtual Climate Symposium to a celebratory close. Be inspired by the Emerald Award-winning examples of environmental and climate leadership from around the province with a selection of short films from the inspiring Emerald Documentary Series. BYO Popcorn!

Presenter: Gregory Caswell, Executive Director Alberta Emerald Foundation.

Gregory Caswell

Thank you to all the 2021 Calgary Climate Symposium Partners