Climate change plan endorsed by City council

  • Mar. 19, 2014 8:23 p.m.

Climate change was top of mind for City council this week as part one of the Climate Change Adaptation Plan was endorsed.

The City began working on the plan in 2011. The purpose of the plan is to assess climate-related impacts facing the City in the future and to develop a corporate response to preparing for and adapting to climate change. The plan only focuses on corporate climate change impacts. This is the first document in the City’s history to mention climate change.

“In terms of climate change adaptation we want to see what that means – what that means for our organization – and get our heads around what the impacts of climate change are,” said Nancy Hackett, the City’s environmental initiatives supervisor.

In her presentation to council, Hackett said there is a wide scale change in the average weather over a long period of time. Over the past 100 years, Alberta has seen an increase of 1.4C in average temperatures. This is projected to increase as much as 3C by 2050.

“It’s not just about a temperature increase of a few degrees,” said Hackett. “It’s understanding what these changes means for our operations. It’s about the overall impact of that.”

She added Alberta leads the country in terms of the number of severe weather events seen each year.

“Six out of seven of the most costly recorded weather events in Canada have occurred in Alberta. Alberta is the epicentre for severe weather and for severe weather costs,” said Hackett. “We want to ensure we have the ability to provide service and continue operations when those weather events are occurring. We want to protect and adapt buildings and transportation in construction – if we know there is going to be more flooding, how do we build differently? We want to be able to protect and improve the resiliency of our green infrastructure and we want to be able to serve residents and stakeholders moving forward in the most appropriate way.”

A steering committee came up with 100 different actions broken up into five themed action areas including business continuity planning, development and planning standards, storm water design standards, parks adaptation of operations to meet eco-system pressure resulting from climate change and adaptation of operating practices and service levels.

“This plan will help us build a more resilient community and it will help us show leadership in Alberta,” said Hackett.

Councillor Paul Harris said this plan is an important one for the City.

“I’m glad we are talking about this, it was just a few years ago that we weren’t talking about climate change at all,” he said. “I’m exceptionally proud that Red Deer is leading the way in Alberta.”

Councillor Ken Johnston agreed.

“This really is a great opportunity for us as a City to take a leadership position on this. There is also an opportunity for us to spread our knowledge with the private sector and other municipalities.”

City council unanimously voted in favour of endorsing part one of the Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Councillor Buck Buchanan was absent from the meeting.

Part two of the Climate Change Adaptation Plan will provide detailed actions under each major theme as well as prioritization and implementation details. This work is expected to be completed within the next six to seven months.

Just Posted

WATCH: Mellisa Hollingsworth highlights Special Olympics Celebrity Breakfast

Olympic Bronze Medalist from Central Alberta shared her journey with a packed house

WATCH: Over 10,000 lbs of pet food given out to help Red Deer’s vulnerable

Alberta Animal Services and Red Deer Food Bank’s Kitchen Kibble will feed hundreds

Local coalition seeks to bolster youngsters’ development

‘Strengthening Positive Assets Resiliency in Communities’ supports local families

Central Alberta Humane Society presents cat yoga

Proceeds will be used to care for the shelter animals

Innisfail RCMP respond to fatal vehicle collision

A 22-year-old driver was ejected and pronounced deceased on scene

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Humboldt survivors to attend NHL Awards

Players say it’s a blessing to be back together again

Justice minister: marijuana still illegal for now

Driving under the influence of drugs has always been — and will remain — against the law

Crown recommends 150 years for Quebec mosque shooter

Crown lawyers say Alexandre Bissonnette deserves to receive the longest sentence in Canadian history

192 missing after ferry sinks in Indonesia

Divers are searching an Indonesian lake after a ferry sank earlier this week

No clear plan yet on how to reunite parents with children

A lawyer has documented more than 300 cases of adults who have been separated from a child

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Most Read