Edmonton's Future in a Global Context
Watch this trailer for 2040, a film that explores climate solutions available today:
Human economy and society rely on a stable, life-supporting biosphere. This foundation of nature is illustrated here through a hierarchy of the Sustainable Development Goals:
Explore more at Together Alberta.
Create the greenhouse gas emissions future you envision, as well as a personal action plan, with the Design Our Climate simulation:
Explore the Planetary Boundaries framework, created by the Stockholm Resilience Centre, with this interactive tool made by KCVS:
Our Future Edmonton
What do you want for your future? With this resource developed by the King's Centre for Visualization in Science in 2020, explore the City of Edmonton's plans to make Edmonton an energy sustainable city, and identify the actions you will contribute toward our best future, within inevitable climate disruption.
Climate Change is Everything Change. ~ Margaret Atwood
What Really Matters
What really matters to you? Do you dream of building Edmonton communities to thrive together within inevitable climate disruption, transforming lifestyles to increase Edmontonians' quality of life, and engaging in great economic opportunities, through greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings? Did you know that the City of Edmonton is a national and global city leader that sets high standards of energy sustainability, establishing Edmonton as a thriving, resilient city?
Watch this video from the City of Edmonton's Change for Climate initiative for a brief, powerful introduction:
Everything we do is an opportunity for reconciliation in action.
The lands on which Edmonton sits and the North Saskatchewan River that runs through it have been the sites of natural abundance, ceremony and culture, travel and rest, relationship building, making and trading for Indigenous peoples since time immemorial. Edmonton is located within Treaty 6 Territory and within the Métis homelands and Métis Nation of Alberta Region 4. We acknowledge this land as the traditional territories of many First Nations such as the Nehiyaw (Cree), Denesuliné (Dene), Nakota Sioux (Stoney), Anishinabae (Saulteaux) and Niitsitapi (Blackfoot). The city of Edmonton owes its strength and vibrancy to these lands and the diverse Indigenous peoples whose ancestors’ footsteps have marked this territory as well as settlers from around the world who continue to be welcomed here and call Edmonton home. Together we call upon all our collective honoured traditions and spirits to work in building a great city for today and future generations."
Toward Sustainability—7 Generations
Watch this short video to explore sustainability from an Indigenous perspective:
The Future of Amiskwacîwâskahikan - Edmonton
Our home town has the opportunity to be a leader in
- implementing just and equitable climate solutions,
- improving communities to reduce per person greenhouse gas emissions, and
- ultimately becoming a carbon neutral city.
To reach this target, let's work together to improve society in a rapid, thoughtful transformation that reduces the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the way our city functions and we live our lives by almost 85% over the next decade - from an average 19 tonnes emissions per person/year to 3 tonnes.
Did we say ambitious? Exciting, eh?!
Change for Climate Edmonton, 2020
The new strategy expected in 2021 will update the City's climate mitigation goals to align with the international target of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. Under the existing Community Energy Transition Strategy, Edmonton's pathway to becoming an energy sustainable city consists of three main targets:
1. Climate Change Mitigation
2. Energy Efficiency
3. Energy Resilience
What is the risk of not doing enough?
What does the world's energy look like long-term? How does it affect Edmonton? Large global energy companies provide insight and advice to these questions by developing scenarios that depict what the global energy production looks like around 20 years into the future. Royal Dutch Shell offers Three Hard Truths that summarize the key takeaways of these scenarios:
- 1. Global energy demand is growing fast
- 2. Global energy supply will struggle to keep pace
- 3. Without global policy change, environmental stresses will continue
Based on these Three Hard Truths, Edmonton’s Community Energy Transition Strategy indicates where the city is put at risk:
⊕ Cost of Living in an Energy Constrained World
If the dependency on fossil fuel consumption continues, as the industry consensus indicates, Edmonton's risk of higher energy prices significantly intensifies. Without access to cheap oil and natural gas, Edmontonians and their organizations and communities face great economic challenges. In order to avoid the rise of oil and natural gas prices, communities can reduce energy use and fossil fuel dependence through the pursuit of renewables and efficient energy conservation.
⊕ Quality of Life: Climate Impacts
Edmonton is likely to experience major consequences if the world fails to limit the global average temperature. The impacts Edmontonians would face include severe rain and flood risk, as well as social, economic, and food supply disruptions. Communities can take action by reducing individual GHG emissions, making resilience-focused upgrades to the way we live, and encouraging restoration of seasonal and local food production and consumption.
⊕ Health: Air Quality
Edmontonians face rising health risks due to diminished air quality from particulate matter (PM2.5), which is associated with acute and chronic illness. These particles in the air come from fires, fossil fuel use in industrial buildings and homes, and are also created by nitrogen oxide reactions from vehicles. Communities can work towards active or shared transportation, and more efficient buildings, to reduce this risk.
Building on these presented truths and risks, the Edmonton Community Energy Transition Strategy advocates for a transition toward more energy-efficient, and renewable technologies and lifestyles to avoid significant economic, health, social, climate, and food-related threats. This analysis provides Edmonton with a chance to lead in the transition towards a prosperous future — participating in opportunities that make way for greater standards of living, and an impressive global reputation of energy efficiency and sustainability.
Recent Action in Amiskwacîwâskahikan - Edmonton
Following IPCC's Cities and Climate Change Science Conference, held in Edmonton in 2018, Mayor Iveson, the City of Edmonton, and the Global Covenant of Mayors develped the Edmonton Declaration in recognition of the danger cities face as greenhouse gas emissions rise.
In short, the declaration:
- Recognizes the urgency of limiting global warming to 1.5°C and how cities play an important role in achieving this target
- Calls upon governments worldwide to join Edmonton's efforts in establishing and maintaining an action plan that aligns with the Paris Agreement
- Asks that the scientific community collaborate with cities in providing local analysis and data to better facilitate policy making with local climate solutions
Read more about the declaration here.
On August 27, 2019, the Edmonton city council passed a motion declaring a climate emergency in order to double down on the rate at which the city is cutting emissions. This recognition that the city is in a state of emergency reaffirmed Edmonton's commitment to the Community Energy Transition Strategy — as well as making the statement that the climate is in fact changing and we must urgently move forward in acceptance of this.
Edmonton's Emissions (2019)
One of the Community Energy Transition Strategy's targets is to reduce community-based greenhouse gas emissions.
- Edmonton's community-based greenhouse gas emissions were 5.6% lower in 2019 than in 2005 — with per-person emissions decreasing by 5% (Edmonton's population is growing).
- Use the timeline menu to return to Edmonton's Future above to remind yourself of the recommended greenhouse gas emissions reductions target for this decade: 85% by 2030.
Alberta's Emissions (2018)
Alberta's greenhouse gas emissions increased by 18% between 2005 and 2018.
These emissions largely arise outside of the boundaries of the City of Edmonton, so they are mostly not included when we discuss our greenhouse gas emissions at the municipal level.
Action on greenhouse gas emissions reductions occurs at all levels of society - explore global considerations through the timeline menu!