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City of Calgary - Climate Resilience Strategy Action Plans

The Calgary’s Climate Resilience Strategy outlines the action plans to:

  • Climate Change Mitigation - Manage Calgary's energy use and help limit global climate change.
  • Climate Change Adaptation - Reduce Calgarians' vulnerability to and prepare for a changing climate.

See the full Climate Resiliency Strategy.

How you can limit global climate change

View a list of actions you can take to reduce your energy use for climate change. Visit How you can Limit Global Climate Change.

How you can adapt to climate change

View a list of actions you can take to prepare for climate change. Visit How to Adapt to Climate Change.

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Calgary's Climate Change Mitigation Plan

Learn about actions The City of Calgary is taking to manage energy use and help limit global climate change. 

Building and Energy Systems

Buildings and Energy Systems

Natural gas and electricity used to cool, heat, run appliances and electronics, and keep the lights on in buildings and homes make up almost 65 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in Calgary.

Investments in building energy efficiency and renewable energy are our biggest opportunity for energy savings and helping to limit global climate change.

Energy performance standards

Improve building performance requirements beyond current building code

​Action ​Participating Business Unit
Action: ​1.1 Support the implementation of energy step codes for new buildings Participating Business Unit: ​Calgary Building Services
Action: ​1.2 Prepare Calgary for the implementation of a retrofit building code Participating Business Unit: ​Calgary Building Services

Investigate incentives

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 1.3 Investigate policy approaches to provide monetary and non-monetary incentives to improve building performance. Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Calgary Building Services
Water Utility

Enable innovative financing mechanisms

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 1.4 Enable innovative financing mechanisms to fund improved energy performance. Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management

Energy consumption information

Implement building labelling and benchmarking for new and existing buildings

​Action ​Participating Business Unit
Action: ​2.1 Develop a residential building labelling program for Calgary Participating Business Unit: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: ​2.2 Develop a commercial building benchmarking program for Calgary Participating Business Unit: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Corporate Analytics & Innovation

Improve energy literacy and capacity building

​Action ​Participating Business Unit
Action: ​2.3 Develop and publish energy consumption information for all stakeholder groups to improve energy knowledge and stakeholder capacity to capitalize on energy efficiency opportunities, and to improve The City GHG reduction program design Participating Business Unit: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Calgary Building Services
Action: ​2.4 Partner with ENMAX and other energy retailers to expand the pilot of providing enhanced billing information to residential customers Participating Business Unit: ​Environmental & Safety Management

Renewable and Low-carbon Energy Systems

Enable the implementation of onsite renewable and low-carbon energy systems

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 3.1 Develop an approach to ensure large scale developments consider the feasibility of low-carbon energy systems as part of the approvals process including: solar photovoltaics, combined heat and power, and district energy (and other technologies where appropriate) Participating Business Units: ​Community Planning
Corporate Analytics & Innovation
Action: ​3.2 Support the implementation of solar photovoltaics Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Calgary Growth Strategies
Action: ​3.3 Support the implementation of district energy systems Participating Business Units: ​Community Planning
Environmental & Safety Management
Action: ​3.4 Support the implementation of combined heat and power Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management

Support alternative ownership models for renewable and low carbon energy systems

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 3.5 Support community ownership of renewable energy generation Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management

Transportation and Land Use

Transportation and Land Use

Where people live, work and access amenities within Calgary impacts how they choose to get around Calgary. One-third of Calgary’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transporting people and goods.

How we design our neighbourhoods and city have a significant impact on the need for energy to be used in moving goods and people around.

Electric and low-emissions vehicles

Support and enable the uptake of electric vehicles

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​4.1 Partner with the private sector and other government agencies to implement local and regional electric vehicle charging infrastructure Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: ​4.2 Work with the private sector and non-profit organizations to develop an electric vehicle education program for the general public and businesses Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: ​4.3 Collaborate with the City of Edmonton, the Province, local development industry and utility companies to identify and analyze options to improve access to home charging for electric vehicles Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: ​4.4 Monitor and provide input to new electric vehicle policies and regulations developed by other orders of government Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: ​4.5 Streamline municipal and utility processes to support public and private electric vehicle projects and reduce barriers Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: ​4.6 Partner with post-secondary institutions and the private sector to advance research and field testing of low emission technologies, supporting infrastructure and policy direction Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management

Support and enable the uptake of low emissions vehicles in commercial fleets

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​4.7 Monitor and provide input to new medium- and heavy-duty low emission vehicle policies and regulations developed by other orders of government Participating Business Units: ​Transportation Planning
Action: ​4.8 Develop a program to support the assessment of alternative fuel technologies for commercial vehicle fleets, and provide education information and emerging regulations from other orders of government Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: ​4.9 Partner with post-secondary institutions to advance Calgary-specific research into goods movement GHG reduction and energy efficiency actions and supportive policies Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management

Low or zero-emissions transportation modes

Enable increased walking and cycling

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​5.1 Continue to implement Step Forward, the Cycling Strategy and Complete Streets Participating Business Units: ​Transportation Planning
Action: ​5.2 Enhance the safety and accessibility of walking and cycling for all citizens Participating Business Units: ​Transportation Planning
Calgary Transit
Parks
Roads
Urban Strategies
Action: ​5.3 Support the utilization of new and innovative bicycle technologies and programs Participating Business Units: ​Transportation Planning

Enable increased use of Calgary Transit

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​5.4 Continue to implement the RouteAhead 30-year strategic plan for Calgary Transit Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Transit
Green Line
Action: ​5.5 Coordinate with regional transit partners to make transit service a more viable choice for regional travel Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Transit
Action: ​5.6 Enable transit oriented development along the Green, Red and Blue LRT lines Participating Business Units: ​Planning & Development
Real Estate & Development Services
Action: ​5.7 Increase implementation of transit priorities and yield-to-bus measures Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Transit

Enable increased use of ride-sharing, car-pooling, and working from home

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​5.8 Support businesses and the development industry to implement transportation demand management plans in new and existing communities or buildings Participating Business Units: ​Transportation Planning
Action: ​5.9 Monitor demand for loading or special parking zones for commercial vehicles as well as demand for special parking zones for rideshare services Participating Business Units: ​Transportation Planning
Calgary Parking Authority
Action: ​5.10 Pilot partner ships with alternative mobility providers to provide mobility services Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Transit
Action: ​5.11 Develop a high occupancy vehicle strategy to support high-occupancy vehicles and buses, as well as consideration of electric vehicles Participating Business Units: ​Transportation Planning

Land-use and transportation planning

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​6.1 Incorporate policies regarding climate risks and greenhouse gas reductions that may impact land use development and transportation infrastructure or services into the update of the Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Growth Strategies
Transportation Planning
Action: ​6.2 Develop methodologies to integrate GHG reduction potential into growth management decisions and transportation assessments Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Growth Strategies
Transportation Planning
Action: ​6.3 Investigate the impact of disruptive transportation technologies on Calgary’s transportation GHG emissions Participating Business Units: ​Transportation Planning

Consumption and Waste

Consumption and Waste

The waste we create and how we dispose of it has an impact on climate change. This plan aims to strengthen our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from waste decomposition while starting to consider the embodied emissions from the goods and services we consume.

Reduce overall consumption and waste generation

Reduce total waste generation in the residential and commercial sectors

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​7.1 Quantify the composition, scale and impact of consumption and waste on GHG emissions in Calgary Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Waste & Recycling Services
Action: ​7.2 Implement a “pay-as-you-throw” black cart program for residential waste Participating Business Units: ​Waste & Recycling Services
Action: ​7.3 Investigate options and develop a strategy for significantly reducing avoidable plastic waste and single-use items Participating Business Units: ​Waste & Recycling Services
Action: ​7.4 Work with the province to move forward extended producer responsibility regulations Participating Business Units: ​Waste & Recycling Services
Action: ​7.5 Focus on waste reduction in education programs for waste management Participating Business Units: ​Waste & Recycling Services

Improve access to local food

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​7.6 Review CalgaryEATS! Food Action Plan with enhanced climate resilience lens and develop a Food Resilience Plan Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Growth Strategies
Action: ​7.7 Conduct systems-level research on climate impacts across range of food systems activities and identify critical linkages among systems components and processes Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Growth Strategies
Action: ​7.8 Work with Provincial and Federal Governments and the private sector on a multi-level approach to climate programs and policies as it relates to food systems Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Growth Strategies
Action: ​7.9 Raise awareness of, and address, food loss and disposal to reduce wasted food Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Growth Strategies
Action: ​7.10 Promote urban and regional food production and support farmers through programs and policy Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Growth Strategies
Action: ​7.11 Review and update City and institutional food procurement policies Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Growth Strategies
Action: ​7.12 Support the regionalization and diversification of food supply chains Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Growth Strategies

Waste management to minimize greenhouse gas emissions

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 8.1 Continue to educate and support Calgarians to divert organic waste away from landfills through the Residential Green Cart Program, the disposal surcharge rates at City landfills, and as required for all industrial, commercial, and industrial organizations under The City’s bylaws. Participating Business Units: ​Waste & Recycling Services

Natural Infrastructure

Natural Infrastructure

Gaining a better understanding of the environmental stresses on our local environment, while building knowledge and expertise in areas that will deliver opportunities for better holistic management of our natural systems will lead to better management of natural infrastructure.

Conserve and manage green spaces and natural areas to support climate change mitigation

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​9.1 Develop a methodology to quantify the value of natural systems (i.e., parks, riparian areas, natural areas, urban forest, etc.) as a greenhouse gas sink, and incorporate into our annual GHG inventory reporting Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: ​9.2 Develop a formal working group to increase understanding of The City’s natural assets for City staff and external stakeholders, including the integration of climate change mitigation considerations Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: ​9.3 Incorporate the value of natural systems as a greenhouse gas sink into triple bottom line analysis and other business processes where necessary Participating Business Units: ​Water Utility
Action: ​9.4 Incorporate climate change mitigation considerations into existing strategies Participating Business Units: ​Parks
Water Utility
Action: ​9.5 Remove regulatory policy barriers that prevent the effective conservation of wetlands in the city Participating Business Units: ​Parks
Action: ​9.6 Continue to promote the restoration of native habitat and naturalization of existing open space to augment the ability of Parks and Open Spaces to sequester carbon Participating Business Units: ​Parks
Action: ​9.7 Collaborate with the Province to develop a carbon offset program for natural systems Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management

Leadership

Leadership

Demonstrating leadership is a critical role for The City of Calgary. Leadership can take the form of setting an example through actions, providing information and education, or by enabling innovation and collaboration.

The City of Calgary as a leader in climate change mitigation

Lead by example in our operations

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​10.1 Demonstrate leadership in the construction, operations, and maintenance of City-owned buildings, facilities, infrastructure and fleet to minimize GHG emissions by continuing the implementation of the Corporate Energy Plan 2016-2026 Participating Business Units: ​Corporate Analytics & Innovation
Transportation Department
Water Utility
Action: 10.2 Demonstrate leadership by installing low-carbon and renewable energy systems at City facilities and land Participating Business Units: ​Corporate Analytics & Innovation
Water Utility
Action: ​10.3 Update the Corporate Energy Plan to fully integrate corporate GHG management, and establish a Corporate Energy and Emissions Plan Participating Business Units: ​Corporate Analytics & Innovation
Environmental & Safety Management
Action: ​10.4 Evaluate and incorporate fully-electric, electric hybrid, and other low carbon vehicle technologies into City fleets and facilities Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Corporate Analytics & Innovation
Calgary Transit
Fleet Services
Waste & Recycling Services

 

Become a trusted source for Calgarians to access leading climate change mitigation information and education

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​10.5 Develop and implement a comprehensive climate change education program Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 10.6 Integrate climate messages into existing City of Calgary public education programs Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: ​10.7 Establish targeted and relevant communications material for key stakeholder groups Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management

 

Establish support and resources to enable innovation and collaboration by citizens, businesses, and other stakeholders

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​10.8 Develop and implement a public engagement plan to support the implementation of the Climate Resilience Strategy, the Mitigation Action Plan and the Adaptation Action Plan Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 10.9 Establish resources to enable citizens to take action Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 10.10 Develop a program to support large industrial energy users Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 10.11 Establish a structure and resources to enable innovation between The City and the private sector Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 10.12 Establish a structure to ensure ongoing collaboration between The City, the private sector and academia Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 10.13 Identify additional funding opportunities to support implementation of actions in the Mitigation Action Plan Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management

Calgary's Climate Adaptation Plan

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Learn about actions The City of Calgary is taking to reduce Calgarians’ vulnerability to and prepare for a changing climate.

People

People: A city where people can thrive

Reducing Calgarians’ vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

Air Quality Management

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​1.1 Continue to collaborate across the region and province on air quality management Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 1.2 Develop messaging and response plans, in coordination with regional and provincial agencies, to provide information to Calgarians during poor air quality events Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 1.3 Investigate the feasibility of implementing and enforcing bylaw restrictions or fire bans on backyard fire pits and wood burning during periods of poor air quality Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 1.4 Support the adoption of electric vehicles and alternative fuels that minimize local air pollution Participating Business Units: ​Transportation

Extreme Heat Management

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: ​2.1 Ensure that heat alerts reach all Calgary Housing tenants, and provide advice on how to keep cool Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Housing
Action: 2.2 Develop corporate standard and procedures for heat management to support business units in the development of their own plans Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 2.3 Install and/or enhance shade structures and water stations in public parks as a part of capital lifecycle programs Participating Business Units: ​Parks
Action: 2.4 Scope out and develop an urban heat island map to identify areas vulnerable to heat extremes, and develop measures to reduce impacts on citizens and staff Participating Business Units: Environmental & Safety Management

Staff and Citizen Outreach

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 3.1 Develop and implement public and internal climate change education plans Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 3.2 Develop a Climate Action Community Toolkit, and update communications plans to share climate change information with community groups, Civic Partners and private sector organizations Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 3.3 Support Civic Partner’s strategic and business continuity planning to address climate change risks, including sharing of The City research and plans Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Neighbourhoods and Recreation
Action: 3.4 Coordinate with external agencies to increase safety and security checks of seniors and vulnerable tenants during extreme weather events Participating Business Units: Calgary Housing

Infrastructure

Infrastructure: The backbone of the city

Strengthening the built environment to ‘weather the storms’

Backup Power for Critical Infrastructure

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 4.1 Assess condition of power supplies in critical City facilities with priority given to facilities serving vulnerable populations Participating Business Units: ​Facility Management
Action: 4.2 Determine backup power requirements for City systems and infrastructure in preparation for cascading power losses in the event of multiple extreme weather events Participating Business Units: ​All business units
Action: 4.3 Evaluate mobile power plants for Calgary Housing Corporation properties with ENMAX to protect tenants and buildings against freezing Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Housing

Design Standards and Practices

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 5.1 Continue to drive improved energy code for buildings with additional focus on deployment of renewable energy. Work is in consultation with Provincial authorities and industry Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Building Services
Action: 5.2 Collaborate with external partners to develop regionally-appropriate climate data to inform new design standards for City infrastructure Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 5.3 Facilitate a cross-corporate working group to scope out and determine a corporate approach to collaboratively update City design standards for buildings Participating Business Units: ​Corporate Analytics & Innovation
Action: 5.4 Update design guidelines and standards for City infrastructure (such as bridges, buildings and water systems) to ensure resilience to extreme weather events and chronic climate changes Participating Business Units: ​All capital investing business units and Corporate Analytics & Innovation

Natural Infrastructure

Natural Infrastructure: The root of resilience

Maximizing the services provided by natural systems

Natural Assets Management

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 6.1 Continue to support and advocate for the priority protection of environmentally significant areas in accordance with the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) Participating Business Units: ​Parks
Action: 6.2 Develop a formal working group to align environmental programs, develop objectives and associated instruments for integration of natural infrastructure in the urban form Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 6.3 Develop a program to increase understanding of the value of natural infrastructure for City staff and external stakeholders Participating Business Units: ​Resilience & Infrastructure Calgary
Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 6.4 Integrate natural infrastructure into planning and corporate asset management Participating Business Units: ​Resilience & Infrastructure Calgary
Environmental & Safety Management

Natural Assets Adaptation

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 7.1 Continue and expand naturalization programs for City Parks and green space Participating Business Units: ​Parks
Action: 7.2 Conduct a city-wide ecological analysis to develop a plan to build the resiliency of Calgary’s natural systems Participating Business Units: ​Parks
Action: 7.3 Develop new guideline for soil management to provide a functional support system for healthy green spaces and natural infrastructure Participating Business Units: ​Parks
Action: 7.4 Implement Riparian Action Program to protect and enhance natural river areas and wetlands Participating Business Units: ​Water Resources

Water Management

Water Management: Every drop counts

Preparing for increasing risks of flooding, drought and declining water quality.

River Flood Management

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 8.1 Collaborate with other levels of government to advance river flood hazard mapping to include climate change Participating Business Units: ​Water Resources
Action: 8.2 Continue to work with other levels of government on upstream storage to manage both river flood and drought risks exacerbated by climate change Participating Business Units: ​Water Resources
Action: 8.3 Develop flood damage reduction policies including consideration of appropriate land uses and long term management of flood protection infrastructure Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Growth Strategies
Water Resources
Action: 8.4 Develop cross-corporate implementation and resourcing plans for river flood response actions taking future climate extremes into account Participating Business Units: Water Services

Stormwater Management

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 9.1 Assess climate change impacts to rainfall intensity, duration and frequency to inform new development Participating Business Units: ​Water Resources
Action: 9.2 Include climate change impacts in the development of the Stormwater Management Strategy and implementation planning to guide water management in development and redevelopment areas Participating Business Units: ​Water Resources
Action: 9.3 Assess stormwater design guidelines to account for climate change in collaboration with stakeholders as part of the Stormwater Management Strategy Participating Business Units: ​Water Resources
Action: 9.4 Develop localized flood warning system and response plan to proactively deploy resources to the community and to wastewater treatment facilities Participating Business Units: Water Services

Long Term Water Supply

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 10.1 Collaborate with other levels of government and regional stakeholders to analyze long term river flow and water quality in the Bow and Elbow Rivers Participating Business Units: ​Water Resources
Action: 10.2 Advance the Drought Management Plan to enhance response tools and minimize impacts during multi-year droughts Participating Business Units: ​Water Resources
Action: 10.3 Incorporate climate change in strategic plans and policies to manage long term water supply, wastewater treatment and stormwater management Participating Business Units: ​Water Resources
Action: 10.4 Evaluate climate change impacts to water supply and demand to inform Water Efficiency Plan and water sustainability targets Participating Business Units: Water Resources

Governance

Governance: Pro-active leadership

Preparing for our climate-altered future through collaborative decision making.

Budgeting and Investment Priorities

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 11.1 Advocate for amendments to current disaster funding models with different levels of government to reflect the increased climate risks Participating Business Units: Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA)
Action: 11.2 Integrate climate resilience criteria within capital budget processes and funding allocation decisions Participating Business Units: ​Resilience and Infrastructure Calgary
Environmental & Safety Management
All asset owning business units
Action: 11.3 Incorporate monitoring and tracking of corporate climate adaptation actions into existing environmental risk management monitoring processes Participating Business Units: ​Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 11.4 Enhance awareness of leadership, project managers and business planners on climate change resilience actions and investments to manage climate risks Participating Business Units: Environmental & Safety Management
Finance

Urban Planning and Processes

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 12.1 Develop or join a community of researchers and practitioners to support information sharing on the management of climate change risks Participating Business Units: Environmental & Safety Management
Action: 12.2 Update the Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan to address climate risks that may impact land development and transportation infrastructure or services Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Growth Strategies
Transportation
Action: 12.3 Align Local Area Plans policies with areas identified by Water Resources as disaster prone and undertake consultation and policy amendments to reduce potential damage to life and goods, and manage risks Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Growth Strategies
Community Planning
Action: 12.4 Conduct an ongoing evaluation of City policies against climate resiliency criteria to ensure alignment Participating Business Units: Environmental & Safety Management
Finance

Severe Weather Response and Recovery Management

​Action ​Participating Business Units
Action: 13.1 Review capacity of Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) to provide local and regional support during response and recovery from identified climate impacts Participating Business Units: Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA)
Action: 13.2 Support Civic Partners as they build internal capacity, obtain resources and develop their own adaptive actions Participating Business Units: ​Calgary Neighbourhoods
Action: 13.3 Review business continuity plan and integrate identified risks of more frequent and intense extreme weather events Participating Business Units: ​All business units
Action: 13.4 Integrate climate adaptation programming into disaster risk reduction strategies in order to increase resilience Participating Business Units: Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA)