More momentum comes in the form of two 20-year contracts the City of Edmonton has signed with green energy providers to reduce the emissions created from powering civic buildings. The two contracts will prevent 95,000 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere over the next two years.
One contract is with BluEarth Renewables, a Calgary-based company with several solar facilities in southern Alberta. The other is with Ontario’s Capstone Infrastructure Corporation, which will provide electricity from its Wild Rose 2 wind farm, which is under construction in Cypress Country. About 80 per cent of the power will come from wind and 20 per cent from solar, a split that was done “to mitigate the potential price risk between the two technologies,” says Gary Cook, utilities lead with the City of Edmonton’s Urban Planning and Environment department.
It’s a lot of good news, but it’s tempered by the recent publication of the City’s first carbon budget report. As part of the City’s 2019 declaration of a climate emergency, it set greenhouse emissions reduction targets of 35 per cent by 2025, 50 per cent by 2030 (compared to a 2005 baseline), and to be emissions neutral by 2050. “It’s a woeful report,” says Ward Dene city councillor Aaron Paquette. “We’re nowhere near our greenhouse-gas allocation to 2050. We’ll burn it up by 2037.”
Edmonton is hardly alone in this regard. As Mayor Amarjeet Sohi and other leaders attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, it’s clear that jurisdictions of every size are missing their targets.