A step towards declaring a climate emergency in Calgary is a step close to becoming official for Mayor Jyoti Gondek and her new city council.
A city council unanimously approved the proposal on Tuesday, and it will now go to council next week for debate.
“The sooner, the better,” said Section 5. Raj Dhaliwal.
He represents some of the areas in the city that were significantly damaged in a hailstorm in 2020. Dhaliwal said he heard from many people in his congregation that the city needed to take steps to mitigate the effects of climate change.
“We can start working with our administration to put together the policies, some measurable goals, some accountability. There is no point in wasting more time,” Dhaliwal said.
“We can start working with our administration to put together the policies, some measurable goals, some accountability. There is no point in wasting more time,” said Ward 5 councilor Raj Dhaliwal.
During her campaign to become mayor, Gondek said declaring a climate emergency would be one of the first orders if elected.
“Many members of the council have considered why this is really an emergency and why it is something we need to focus on,” Gondek said.
If the proposal is adopted, Calgary will join other Canadian cities that have already declared a climate emergency, including Edmonton, Vancouver and Halifax.
The proposal calls on the city to update its greenhouse gas target to reach net zero by 2050. It will also mean investments to reduce emissions and climate risk.
However, there are no words on what it could all cost, but the city would urge all government orders to help fund the work.
“Whether it’s transit, whether it’s active mobility, whether it’s accessibility lanes and so on – it’s a huge way we can change our culture of convenience, our lifestyle to actually create a much more forward-looking and future-friendly, climate-resistant city, “said Courtney Walcott, Councilor for Ward 8.
Some city council members acknowledged that they had received emails from voters who did not support the idea of declaring a climate emergency. But they add that they believe this is also a way to create jobs and boost the city’s economy.
“Is this symbolic? Yes, it’s absolutely symbolic. But there are many business benefits, there are investment opportunities we are missing out on,” said Ward 14 Cllr. Peter Demong.
The call for proposals is part of the agenda to be submitted to the City Council on Monday.