Empowering Local Environmental Stewardship
City Charters will encourage residents of Calgary and Edmonton to take local action to mitigate the impacts of climate change and protect the environment. Charter proposals in this area fall under three themes:
- Energy efficiency and energy security
- Diversifying our energy sources give us more sustainable fuel options to heat our homes, commute to work and live day to day.
- Action on the environment may open up economic opportunities related to new energy options.
- Provide cities with the authority to amend the building code to increase energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Any new requirements would only affect new projects.
- Enable cities to own and operate renewable micro-generation facilities that generate more than the one MegaWatt (1 MW) limit currently in place. Allow households or energy cooperatives to export electricity generated from renewable sources to the grid.
- Climate adaptation and mitigation
- Alberta is no stranger to extreme weather events like wildfires and flooding.
- More can be done to understand these events to help us better plan for the future and protect the economy, our environment and well-being.
- Establish requirements that the cities need to develop plans that will help them adapt to and reduce the risks of climate change. This will include reporting on greenhouse gas emissions on city-owned and operated facilities.
- Environmental protection
- Cities plan at a large scale, changing landscapes with roads, buildings, parks and activity.
- Planning must balance environmental protection with smart development.
- The environment will be recognized for general purpose to allow cities the ability to support the protection of urban ecosystems and biodiversity within city limits.
- Provide the cities with the ability to pass bylaws to deal with environmental issues in the context of land use and development. This could include protection of environmentally important areas within city limits as well as dealing with contaminated sites.
- Include the environment as part of the planning and development section of the Municipal Government Act. This would give Edmonton and Calgary the authority to better partner with the Province in environmental stewardship.
For more details please see the City Charters Overview Package on the Government of Alberta website.