Earth Hour Tour: Edmonton Leading the Way

Cities can lead the way to a low-carbon future. As a city, Edmonton has coordinated research for what our municipality must do to reach a low carbon state by 2050. The Way We Green, the City of Edmonton’s Environmental Strategic Plan, has a sweeping inventory of recommendations that covers energy, quality of life, innovation, cultural diversity and environmental responsibility. It’s a plan worth following. The City is now fleshing out the recommendations with specific supporting plans, deepening citizen engagement, monitoring progress, adjusting as we go, continuing with what works, and setting us on a path where we will thrive into the future. Following the vision of The Way We Green has implications for all of us in the way we live, breathe and flourish.

Citizens, communities, businesses and municipalities can embrace a low carbon future through a variety of actions and by showing support for initiatives, including:

  • Renewable energy on City property
  • Renewable energy on your home and businesses
  • Cogeneration and district energy
  • Sustainable design, like the Blatchford Redevelopment
  • Infill development
  • Public transit
  • Hybrid and electric cars
  • Car sharing
  • Taking your bike out for a spin … often
  • Walking…..with your dog!
  • Energy-efficient appliances
  • Insulation for your home
  • Lowering your house temperature (put on a sweater)
  • Switching off and unplugging appliances when not in use
  • Local businesses
  • Locally grown food
  • Reducing, reusing, recycling – in that order

Leadership is key at all levels. The community has shown great leadership: from individuals who follow sustainable lifestyles and share their views at public forums, to groups of citizens who take action at the neighborhood level and support solar energy for their community buildings, to corporate leaders who provide residents with sustainable and energy-efficient choices and give back to the community in so many ways. The City also shows leadership in the numerous initiatives already undertaken, such as work around renewable energy, and plans under development, such as Edmonton’s Energy Transition Plan. Edmonton’s successes in waste management are now being shared among cities around the world. Every level of government in every jurisdiction, locally and globally, needs to show leadership and share responsibility for our energy and climate challenges. The journey has already begun with small and large steps. As an entire community, let’s further commit to a low-carbon future and move us further along a sustainable path.

 

Original Blog Post: http://blog.wwf.ca/blog/2014/03/18/earth-hour-tour-cities-leading-way/

 
About the Author
Barbara Daly
Barbara Daly is a project manager within the Office of Environment, City of Edmonton. With a focus on renewable energy and brownfield redevelopment, she works on creating and delivering programs that promote renewable energy and redevelopment of contaminated sites within Edmonton’s municipal boundaries.
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