Recognizing that the impacts of climate change are already being felt by Calgarians, policies are required to mitigate the worst outcomes of climate change while also helping Calgarians adapt to living in an increasingly unstable climate. The policies listed below suggest ways The City can prioritize climate change adaptation and mitigation by explicitly using climate and environment-related policies and social policies. The primary focus of the policies put forward in this section is supporting The City in building resilience in the face of climate change.
To invest in Climate Action for a just and liveable future, a Better Budget includes the following policy asks:
- Facilitate and support an information sharing, capacity-building, and skills training centre for climate action.
- Establish a Net Zero Emissions Building Standard for new builds, renovations, and retrofits.
- Incorporate climate mitigation and adaptation into new local area plans.
- Develop a climate equity toolkit to help evaluate city projects and ensure our future is liveable and just.
- Develop central funding for climate-resilient infrastructure to support the incorporation of prioritized climate resilience measures in new facility/infrastructure development and existing facility/infrastructure retrofits.
- Integrate natural infrastructure into Calgary’s greater downtown through multifunctional stormwater infrastructure, a green network, and innovative climate solutions in the urbanized environment.
- Develop a retrofit incentive program for tenants that allows non-owners to benefit from the improved energy performance and cost savings.
- Develop a net zero emissions retrofit incentive program to support the greater downtown.
Climate justice means that climate change is understood to be a social, political, and environmental issue. Consequently, climate and social policy must recognize that climate change has unequal impacts on different communities, both within a city, country, and globally. For example, as extreme heat events become increasingly common, we know that the severity of the crisis will vary depending on whether a person has or does not have access to shelter, or access to air conditioning.
Addressing Systemic Injustices
These policies must be implemented with careful consideration to prevent the further entrenchment of systemic injustices. For example, developing a climate equity toolkit will influence land use decisions that pertain to meaningfully curbing urban sprawl, transit planning, and access to green space by considering how those decisions impact the greenhouse gas emissions and the daily reality of Calgarians. Similarly, decisions on housing and social programs which strive to reduce disparities between neighbourhoods and households are critical to ensuring that all Calgarians can benefit from the progressive changes.
These policy asks are based on input that came directly from over 5,000 Calgarians from every corner of the city through our Better Budget Survey and Community Consultations last spring. Vivic Research and Nick Falvo Consulting helped us compile your responses into a report that includes these and other recommendations.