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Why are we updating the Community Energy Transition Strategy?

On August 27, 2019 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 CETS was developed with the best scientific research and advice available, to help Edmonton mitigate the risks of climate change. Approved by City Council in 2015, the Strategy aims to  reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy, and increase energy efficiency across all sectors. As part of its implementation, a suite of integrated programs under the name Change for Climate have been developed to get residents, communities, corporations, industry, building owners/operators and others, working together to reduce Edmonton’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

While the CETS is bold in its goal to reduce emissions, it is no longer bold enough as it was developed prior to the signing of the Paris Agreement which aims to limit the increase in global average temperatures to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Since 2018 the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been calling to limit global warming to 1.5°C to prevent climate destabilization and ensure a more sustainable and equitable society. The Edmonton Declaration also calls on cities to work towards that same goal and has been endorsed through member networks, by over 4,500 cities around the world.

What are we updating in the Community Energy Transition Strategy?

For Edmonton to align with the international target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C the Community Energy Transition Strategy will aim to work with a local carbon budget of 155 Megatonnes. This budget is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions permitted from now until 2050 and its calculated using international modeling systems. Setting targets based on a carbon budget allows municipalities to visualize the urgency of the need for change. Every year emissions are added to the atmosphere essentially reduces the remaining local carbon budget.

At Edmonton’s current emissions this local carbon budget would be exceeded in 8 to 10.5 years from now. To stay within 155 Megatonnes, emissions must be reduced from 20 tonnes per person/year to 3.2 tonnes by 2030 to zero tonnes by 2050.

Through modeling, jurisdictional scans and following principles developed to assist the grouping of the potential climate actions, the City has six proposed Climate Shifts to be the basis of the updated Strategy:

six climate shifts: Tools and targets; Low carbon city and zero emissions transportation; Emissions neutral buildings; Renewable revolution and circular economy; Just and equitable transition; Negative emissions

For details on the local carbon budget and the Climate Shifts, please refer to the Getting to 1.5C Discussion Paper.

Project Timeline

As per City Council’s motion, an initial draft of the updated Community Energy Transition Strategy is to be presented to Council in June 2020 and a final updated Strategy in October 2020. To align with those dates the project has been divided into two phases.

Phase 1

September 2019 - June 2020

  • City Council directs administration to update the Community Energy Transition Strategy and declared a climate emergency - August 2019
  • The City request input from targeted stakeholders on the actions/solutions identified to achieve the Climate Shifts from September 2019 to April 2020. This input will inform the draft of the Strategy. 
  • An interim report providing a project update and proposed accelerated climate actions is presented to City Council in December 2019.
  • A draft of the updated Strategy is presented to City Council in June 2020.

Phase 2

June 2020 - October 2020

  • The City seeks advice from the general public and targeted stakeholders on how to implement the proposed solutions/actions in Edmonton from June to August 2020. This input will inform the final updated Strategy.
  • The final updated Strategy will be presented to City Council in October 2020.
  • Endorsement of updated Strategy for City Charter Regulations no later than December 31, 2020.

How are we engaging Edmontonians?

To update the Community Energy Transition Strategy, key stakeholders will be engaged to ensure that the proposed climate shifts, policies and actions capture the best practices, innovations and ideas, and that its implementation is achievable in Edmonton. 

Engagement with targeted stakeholders and the general public will be divided as per the two phases listed in the project timeline. The input from the various engagement sessions will help inform the updated Strategy that will be presented to City Council for approval in 2020.

public engagement session in Edmonton Tower

Upcoming engagement sessions

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback at our engagement sessions the last few months! Watch for more opportunities coming in the new year.

Past engagement sessions

Drop-In Events with City Plan and the Bike Network Plan

Date: Saturday October 19, 2019
Time: 2-5pm
Location: Londonderry Shopping Centre - East Court, 1 Londonderry Mall Northwest

Date: Tuesday October 22, 2019
Time: 4-7pm
Location: The Meadows Recreation Centre, 2704 17 Street NW

Date: Wednesday October 23, 2019
Time: 5-8pm
Location: Southgate Centre Court, 5015 111 Street NW #51

Date: Thursday October 24, 2019
Time: 2-5pm
Location: West Edmonton Mall - Centre Stage (Level 1, Stage 1), 8882 170 Street NW

Date: Friday October 25, 2019
Time: Noon-3pm
Location: Edmonton Tower - Lobby, 10111 104 Ave NW

Events where we staffed a booth

SPARK 2019: Carbon Positive
 October 28-30, 2019
Location: Edmonton Convention Centre

Green Drinks: Carbon Neutral City
 Wednesday November 13, 2019
Time: 7pm
Location: Yellowhead Brewery, 10229 105 St NW

An Evening with Bill Nye
 Saturday November 16, 2019
Time: 8:30pm
Location: Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 87 Ave NW

Energy Transition Leadership Network

Date: September 11, 2019
Time: 8:30am
Location: Edmonton Tower - 10111 104 Avenue NW

Date: Wednesday December 4, 2019
Time: 8:30am
Location: Edmonton Tower, 10111 104 Avenue NW

For More Information

City Environmental Strategies

9th Floor Edmonton Tower
10111-104 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB
T5J 0J4


In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Fax 780-401-7050

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