Last August, Edmonton City Council voted to update the City’s Community Energy Transition Strategy (CETS) to align with the international target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. At the same time, City Council declared a Climate Emergency as a way to signal to communities, both local and international, that climate change is to be taken seriously and demands urgent action.
Edmonton’s existing CETS was developed with the best scientific research and advice available, to help mitigate the risks of climate change. Approved by City Council in 2015, the CETS aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy, and increase energy efficiency across all sectors. Various programs already exist and are working towards these goals.
But while the CETS is bold, it is not bold enough to align with international target. To achieve this, the updated Strategy will need to work with a local carbon budget of 155 Megatonnes. This budget is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions permitted from 2019 to 2050 and its calculated based on international climate modeling. At Edmonton’s current emissions this local carbon budget would be exceeded in 8 to 10.5 years from now. To stay within the 135 Megatonnes remaining, emissions must be reduced from 20 tonnes per person/year to 3.2 tonnes by 2030 to zero tonnes by 2050.