Council Takes a Big Step Towards a Sustainable Future

"From a large planet of overwhelming magnitude, unlimited resources and endless mystery, the Earth has suddenly become a small planet, thoroughly explored, limited in resources, and reduced in mystery." - Thomas Berry 

Today, as a council, we did one of the most important thing we will do this term, and possibly in our political careers. We passed the Energy Transition Strategy, a plan to start an accelerated shift towards sustainability in Edmonton, a plan that calls for reducing GHG emissions by 23% below our current trajectory by 2035.

The strategy includes detailed steps to improve air quality, building codes, and land use in the city. This strategy gives us a real, concrete jumping-off point to become a leader in sustainability at both national and international levels.

I would like to take the time to acknowledge the work of the Citizen Panel that helped to form the Energy Transition Strategy, without whom this would not have been possible. I would also like to thank the City staff who have put so much effort and love into this project over the past 2 years - I hope that today, you breathe a little easier knowing that we are moving closer to being environmentally secure.

But it is important to recognize that while this is an enormously important first step, it is still a first step. This strategy will take place over 8 years, and the real meat of this work is yet to come. It is going to require work and adaptation on the part of City staff, future councils, and the citizens of Edmonton, as well as the collaboration of government at the regional, provincial, and federal levels.

As businesses or as everyday citizens, we must all do our part to advance the goals of the Energy Transition Strategy. But we can find strength in the fact that because of our first step today, we as Edmontonians will be starting this journey together.

The unanimous decision by City Council to support this strategy could prove to be a historic moment for Edmonton. My hope is that it will ultimately be just one of many historic moments on the path we travel together towards a more sustainable future.