City Charters will encourage residents of Edmonton and Calgary to take local action to mitigate the impacts of climate change and protect the environment. Charter proposals in this area fall under three themes:
Energy efficiency and energy security
- Diversifying our energy sources give us more sustainable fuel options to heat our homes, commute to work and live day to day.
- Action on the environment may open up economic opportunities related to new energy options.
- Give cities the authority to amend the building code to increase environmental sustainability. Any new requirements would only affect new projects.
- Allow cities to own and operate facilities that generate more than the one MegaWatt (1 MW) limit currently in place. Allow households or energy cooperatives to export electricity to the grid within city limits.
- Give cities the authority to provide loans to homeowners for energy efficiency or renewable energy upgrades. The loans would come through the Property Assessed Clean Energy program (PACE).
- Alberta is no stranger to extreme weather events like wildfires and flooding.
- More can be done to understand these events to help us better plan for the future and protect the economy, our environment and well-being.
- Require the cities to develop plans that will help them adapt to and reduce the risks of climate change. The plans would have to report greenhouse gas emissions on city-owned and operated facilities. They would also report how each municipal government would make itself greener with building efficiency measures, green fleets and green electricity.
- Cities plan at a large scale, changing landscapes with roads, buildings, parks and activity.
- Planning must balance environmental protection with smart development.
- Give the cities the authority to pass bylaws on land use aimed at environmental goals. Council would be able to pass bylaws to deal with contaminated sites, brownfield redevelopment, climate change, mature trees and biodiversity.
- Include the environment as part of the planning and development section of the Municipal Government Act. This would give Edmonton and Calgary the authority to better partner with the province in environmental stewardship.