Edmonton City Council declares climate emergency

Today City Council voted to declare a state of climate emergency in Edmonton. 

The motion, which passed by a vote of 10-3, stated: 

  1. That the City of Edmonton declare a climate emergency
  2. That Administration report to Council quarterly on the City of Edmonton’s climate action progress and future actions directed by Edmonton’s Energy Transition Strategy.

“I’m glad to see this motion pass,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “City Council adopted two important resolutions today: a plan to respond to climate change with action and the climate emergency declaration which acknowledges this is an emergency.”

Edmonton joins other Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax in declaring climate emergencies in their municipalities. In June, the Government of Canada declared a nation-wide climate emergency. 

Today’s climate-emergency declaration reaffirms the City’s commitment, laid out in Edmonton’s strategic plan, ConnectEdmonton, to being a climate resilient city.

Councillor Aaron Paquette, who introduced the motion, said:  “The debate over whether climate change is real is over. The debate is: what are we going to do about it?” 

Voting in favour of the motion were: Mayor Don Iveson, Councillor Michael Walters, Councillor Moe Banga, Councillor Scott McKeen, Councillor Sarah Hamilton, Councillor Bev Esslinger, Councillor Tim Cartmell, Councillor Ben Henderson, Councillor Aaron Paquette and Councillor Andrew Knack.

Voting against the motion were: Councillor Jon Dziadyk, Councillor Mike Nickel and Councillor Tony Caterina.

Council also voted to bolster the City’s Energy Transition Strategy by increasing greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. These new targets will align Edmonton’s emission reductions to the Edmonton Declaration, which calls on cities to recognize the urgent need for action that will limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

To limit temperature increase by 1.5 Celsius, Edmonton must reach a goal where citizens are emitting only 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050. Edmontonians currently emit 20 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

For those interested in learning more about the City’s work on building a climate resilient Edmonton, check out the City’s Environment, Climate Change and Energy page.

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