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Council eyes interim targets, financial reporting on climate change


Walcott said the work is about councillors keeping their eye on the commitment they made by making the climate emergency declaration

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City council will consider adding more financial reporting to the city’s efforts to address climate change.

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Council’s executive committee unanimously agreed Tuesday to forward a motion from Coun. Courtney Walcott for debate at council. The request for additional work comes from ideas that Walcott and Coun. Jennifer Wyness brought up shortly after council voted to declare a climate emergency in Calgary last month.

The motion asks for several things, including specific interim targets for the city ahead of the 2050 goal of net-zero emissions, plans for retrofitting and updating city-owned assets with clean energy infrastructure, and ongoing expenditure reports that include the cost of specific measures to mitigate climate change and the cost of not taking action.

Walcott said the work is about councillors keeping their eye on the commitment they made by making the climate emergency declaration, and more clearly track progress on the city’s climate goals.

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“Right now, without the frameworks to actually make these financial measurements, they end up just becoming theoretical statements or promises for bringing change,” he said.

“The world’s decisions to not act on this come with a very local bill.”

He’d like to see a climate lens applied to every decision the city makes, with a clear understanding of how approving a new development or building transportation infrastructure affects progress on climate change.

“Every time a decision comes forward there would be a climate framework that you’d be able to use to criticize or judge or even just provide feedback,” he said.

“This is actually saying: before you make a decision, you should know the impact it’s going to have.”

If council eventually approves the motion, city officials would report back next fall, before council puts together its next four-year budget.

masmith@postmedia.com
Twitter: @meksmith




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