Calgary city council to debate $87B climate strategy

Calgary councillors are scheduled to debate and vote on a 99-page climate strategy on Tuesday.

In May, a city committee endorsed a plan to reach net-zero by 2050 in an effort to become climate resilient through dozens of initiatives, including building retrofits, renewable energy projects and bolstering low-carbon transportation projects.

The $87 billion price tag, or $3.1 billion annually for the next 28 years, would be covered by all levels of government as well as stakeholders in the private sector.

The vote was initially scheduled to take place in June, but was delayed as some council members had to travel to Toronto for city business.

There were also concerns about the messaging around the strategy and some questions that went unanswered.

The delay was met with criticism from Mayor Jyoti Gondek.

"What message are we sending to the world, who is in our city, watching us to be leaders in energy transformation? Well, the message that some of my colleagues sent today is 'Meh, this can wait,'" she said on June 7.

"That is not driving investor confidence, and I hope they get what they need out of that July 5 meeting."

Members of the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good and the Calgary Climate Hub will be outside city hall Tuesday afternoon to show their support for Calgary Climate Strategy - Pathways to 2050.

"When my kids and I go for walks in our nearby park, they ask, 'Mom, what are we doing to keep this place nice?' My kids are worried about what climate change will do to this city that they love. Our choices today can be beneficial or harmful to the generations that follow us. Climate issues disproportionately impact the most vulnerable in our city," said Dr. Beth Stovell, a spokesperson for Calgary Alliance for the Common Good.

"A Calgary climate strategy isn't just about addressing the environmental emergency we face. It's also about working towards a more just and healthy place for all of us. It is remembering our responsibility to the next generation."

Tuesday's rally is scheduled to begin shortly after noon on the front steps of city hall.

With files from CTV News' Jordan Kanygin