What’s going on with climate change?
This year, unprecedented wildfires have continued to remind us of the unfortunate impact of climate change on our everyday lives. While it may feel like this is more of a global issue, there’s still a lot that we can do to fight climate change at the municipal level.
Why the municipal level?
Municipalities are major contributors to climate change too. So it’s the perfect place to start if we want to make a difference. Waste processing, recycling programs, using public transportation, expanding the urban canopy, making smart choices about energy use, and retrofitting buildings to be more energy efficient are all examples of things we can do right here in Calgary. There are also more opportunities to get involved in municipal politics than at any other level of government.
Why does all of this matter?
Climate change has been affecting everyone in Alberta for the past few decades. If we don’t take action, things will continue to escalate. That means more frequent cases of extreme weather, including dangerous heat waves, droughts, and severe storms. This impacts the health and safety of everyone in Calgary.
So what’s being done?
On November 15th, 2021, Calgary City Council declared a climate emergency. But what does that actually mean in terms of the actions the city is taking? Basically, the city has made combating climate change a strategic priority by accelerating the timelines for taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This includes implementing projects to protect biodiversity, encouraging the use of electric vehicles, building green roofs, investing in solar projects, and more.
The ultimate goal of all of this is for Calgary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 to help limit the impact of climate change and global warming.
Now what can we do?
Despite all of this progress, there's still more that can be done. There are lots of small adjustments we can make to our daily lives that can really add up. Things like recycling, changing to LED lightbulbs, or hanging clothes to dry instead of using a dryer are all great examples.
We can all also hold our city and its representatives accountable. The more our leaders hear about the concerns that the people who elected them have, the more likely they are to listen.
Want to get involved and help us build a better future for Calgary?