Meeting our Climate Commitments

If we want to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial temperatures, the world must act, and Edmonton must do its part here at home. 

As Mayor, Michael Oshry would continue to build on the City’s current Energy Transition Strategy and Climate Resilient Edmonton plan. Oshry’s plan will see the City work in partnership with the private sector and our communities. Collaboration is essential. As the City’s plans say themselves, significant investment is needed from the private sector, so the City’s role will be as a catalyst for private sector investment. We will not succeed in meeting our climate commitments if the City goes it alone.

These next four years will be critical in ensuring we meet our climate commitments and Michael Oshry’s plan will be critical in getting us there. Below are the pillars of Oshry’s plan:

Making Edmonton a clean technology powerhouse

  • Michael Oshry has a plan to make Edmonton the clean technology capital of Canada. We have 70 companies and institutions in our Corporate Climate Leaders Program, which Michael Oshry will expand to create a Clean Technology Investors Alliance. This Alliance will be made up of corporate leaders, post-secondary institutions, energy companies, and investment firms.
  • Michael Oshry will also establish an Innovation Investment Fund which will allow Edmonton to attract successful technology accelerators from other parts of Canada to Edmonton. This fund won’t be funded by an arbitrary number determined top-down by our government, but instead by assessing the current innovation funding shortfall in our city and bolstering that within our means.
  • Governments can’t solve climate change alone, citizens in their own personal capacity, will be at the forefront.  As well, private sector investment in clean technologies will be vital in helping us become carbon neutral. We will then not only be solving our own problems, we will be exporting solutions around the world.

Building a low carbon city and transportation network

  • Edmonton’s City Plan will take our city to 2 million people without expanding beyond our current borders. Right now Edmonton is expanding rapidly which means farmland and natural areas are being converted for development. This also increases the need for large, expensive infrastructure and the more spread out we are the more energy and transportation we need as well.
  • Michael Oshry will make infill developments easier than greenfield developments, that is making it easier to grow up rather than out. He will support the Infill Roadmap and revamped Zoning bylaw, which provide a sound pathway to a more compact city and more sustainable neighbourhoods, while constantly improving accountability and education for builders to ensure protection of neighbouring properties.  This will also result in savings on basic services like snow clearing and garbage removal as we will have a more compact city.
  • Michael Oshry will accelerate development in Blatchford by shifting the development to the private sector while maintaining the existing environmental regulations and objectives. This is a signature development project and its current pace of development is hurting our reputation as a city, slowing achievement of climate change goals and putting unnecessary financial risk on the citizens
  • Oshry will ensure that every bus that comes offline will be replaced by an electric one until we have achieved 100% electrification of our fleet. In addition to the continuing electrification of our bus fleet, Michael Oshry will expand LRT and Bus Rapid Transit options, once the current cycle of development is completed.

Getting to 100% carbon neutral buildings

  • As Mayor, Michael Oshry would commit to making the Clean Energy Investment Program (CEIP) pilot permanent and significantly expanding it. CEIP is a financing tool for improving a building’s energy performance through retrofits and adding renewable sources by spreading out installation costs and allowing building owners to pay back the costs automatically via property taxes. Oshry will expand this program to apply to all building types in the city.
  • Building owners who take part in the program are able to repay the costs over time through their property tax bills and save more in the long run with lower energy costs.
  • We will make the program permanent and expand eligibility.
  • Michael Oshry will implement the City’s Community Energy Transition Strategy in partnership with Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues. This will support residents with education and resources to make their homes and community halls more energy efficient and will provide more community gardens and other urban agriculture projects on city-owned land.

Investing in climate change adaptation and community resilience

  • The effects of climate change are already being felt in Edmonton as they are across the world, adaptation measures are required.
  • Michael Oshry will ensure, through our regulation of EPCOR, that we follow through on the multi-decade $1.6 billion investment in drainage infrastructure, flood mitigation, and climate change adaptation.
  • Oshry will bolster the City’s current adaptation plan by introducing a suite of adaptation policies both big and small including flood prevention and building retrofits, increased tree planting on residential streets, and water conservation programs.

MICHAEL OSHRY QUOTE:

“We know what the City needs to do to meet our climate commitments, we need more action on items that are the city’s responsibility. We also must acknowledge that climate change is already here and adaptation measures are needed now.  The challenge is immense, as is the opportunity.”