Calgary is one of 43 cities worldwide to score an ‘A’ grade for innovation and strategy in its environmental initiatives.
Just 7 per cent of 596 cities ranked by CDP, an organization that helps companies and cities analyze their environmental impacts, scored an ‘A’ for their environmental actions. To score an ‘A’, a city must demonstrate climate-adaption innovation and strategy while ensuring they remain a prosperous place for citizens to live, work and play.
This short video by The World Economic Forum highlights the environmental actions of three grade ‘A’ cities, Calgary included.
While Calgary is often regarded as an energy hub focused on oil and gas, CDP’s report and ranking of Calgary as a grade ‘A’ green city demonstrates that the city is excelling in other areas in the energy sector.
“Calgary has been a leader on climate action for over a decade now,” said Warren Brooke, Business Strategist at Calgary’s Climate Program. “We’ve been at the forefront across the province and the country, piloting strategies to reduce our emissions and increase our resilience.”
In choosing to award Calgary an ‘A’ for its environmental innovation and long-term strategic planning, CDP highlighted the city’s renewable energy sector and emission reduction initiatives.
The City of Calgary approved a motion in 2012 to purchase and provide 100 per cent renewable electricity for all municipal operations. As a result, two wind farms were constructed in Southern Alberta with a total capacity of 144 MW. Since then, the city has also installed more than 3,000 kW of solar photovoltaic systems in city-owned facilities and has retrofitted more than 80,000 public streetlamps with LED technology.
The addition of the Green Line to the city’s existing transportation network will aid in the reduction of carbon emissions. The first stage of the new light rail system is expected to be completed in 2026 with the first 20 km of the route anticipated to cut 3,000 tonnes of CO2e from Calgary’s traffic emissions annually—the equivalent of taking more than 23,000 cars off the road each year.
Calgary’s green energy is not only good for the environment, but also for the local economy. In fact, diversification in Calgary’s energy sector has resulted in 15,000 jobs for Calgarians working in transportation, green buildings and energy efficiency. This industry is valued at more than $3 billion for the city.