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City councillor says Calgary isn't doing enough for climate change

Last Updated Jan 31, 2020 at 8:11 am MDT

CALGARY (CityNews) – As climate change continues to raise alarms – is Calgary doing enough at the local level?

Ward seven Councillor Druh Farrell believes the city isn’t doing enough and is taking action to correct that.

“We have a climate strategy and the targets in that strategy, we’re going to miss,” said Farrell.

Farrell has been meeting with every city department to discuss how they’re tackling climate change targets in the city.

“We have a history at the city of not meeting our targets and in some cases of ignoring them. I want to make sure that is not the case with our climate strategy. That’s what I’m looking at, is how are you implementing the climate strategy, which is council policy.”

Council set out to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 20 per cent of 2005 levels by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050, which would contribute to ensuring the global temperature does not increase by two degrees.

According to the city, however, between 2005 and 2017, Calgary’s overall GHG emissions didn’t decrease at all, and in fact, they increased.

“There was quite a bit of disappointment in the fact that we cannot meet those targets, but we also tried to be realistic and try to understand that in certain instances we were unable to prevent that from happening,” said Climate Change and Environment Manager Dick Ebersohn.

Ebersohn said the rate of growth in the city made the target difficult to meet along with several other factors but says there’s optimism in being more realistic with the 2050 target.

“We’ve created a 10-year strategy that is not going to take us to 80 per cent reduction by 2050 in 10 years’ time, but it is going to put us on the path to actually achieve that.”

As part of Farrell’s plan, she’ll be reporting findings from the meetings and the next steps to be taken.

“Calgarians are demanding for us to act on climate. I can’t face the next generation without telling me I’ve done everything I can to make the world a better place for them in the future.”