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Mayor Gondek, city council meet with energy industry leaders before climate declaration vote

Kevin Krausert said the opportunity that comes with Calgary’s energy transition is “the internet of our time.”

Krausert, CEO and co-founder of Avatar Innovations, a company geared towards fostering energy transition, told media at Mayor Jyoti Gondek’s energy breakfast Monday morning that this sector is the greatest single economic opportunity for Calgary.

“We are literally talking about rewiring and repowering the world,” he said.

Krausert joined other energy industry leaders at the breakfast in advance of the climate emergency notice of motion coming to Calgary city council.

Deborah Yedlin, president and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, said the idea of energy transition is often thought of as moving from one thing to another.

“What we’re doing is transforming the energy sector,” she said.

“And we’re basically with this declaration, we’re getting on the same page with a lot of other jurisdictions around the world.”

She agreed that it was a generational opportunity to create wealth and prosperity in Calgary.

“We could be the Silicon Valley for energy transformation technologies,” Yedlin said.

“It’s actually quite exciting. And we have to embrace it. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”

There’s an opportunity for the city and industry to collaborate, said Tristan Goodman, president of the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada. He said there was good dialogue to clarify what the city was asking of industry.

“We know we have an emissions problem. And we have to show to Canadians, but also actually our own investors, that we treat this seriously. Which we do,” Goodman said.

He said there are already transitions underway with hydrogen, geothermal and carbon capture projects.

Relationship building with industry

Mayor Jyoti Gondek said municipal governments aren’t always as engaged as they could be with Calgary’s energy industry. Much of the conversation is with provincial and federal governments, where regulations are set.

But, there’s lots to talk about, she said.

“The feeling in the room is that we have so many stories to tell,” said Mayor Gondek.

“There are so many accomplishments in energy transition that we just haven’t been talking about.”

Ward 5 Coun. Raj Dhaliwal put forward the climate emergency declaration. He said he’s since had a majority of council join him to co-sign the motion.

It the dialogue with industry that was important Monday morning. It was a chance to provide

“I think some of those concerns are going to be alleviated after these discussions and moving forward, we’re going to have that continuous communication with them.”

Dhaliwal said should the climate emergency declaration be approved they’d look at next steps. He said setting targets, measuring their progress and making council accountable is where they’d head.

Krausert said there’s already energy transition work underway.  There’s also about $2 trillion in global capital ready to invest.

“We know how to do this, let’s get after it.”