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Calgary Climate Symposium to help Calgarians engage with changing climate

The fifth annual Calgary Climate Change Symposium launched on Monday morning inviting Calgarians to re-examine changing climate and re-engage with the City of Calgary and organizations aiming to address climate change issues.

The goal is to have conversations about meeting a low-carbon emission future, strengthening community resilience against the detrimental effects of climate change, and how to ensure that no Calgarians is left behind in a climate-changed world.

“There’s a lot of different offerings for the climate symposium, many different topics that all relate back to our climate and environmental strategy and priorities. Things like adapting and mitigating to the adverse effects of climate change,” said Cody Field, Environmental Outreach Coordinator for the City of Calgary.

“There’s a lot of interest and uptake from citizens regarding solar projects, building retrofits and clean energy. And so this event is really an opportunity for us to share some of the projects and as well as some of the opportunities that are available to citizens to take action.”

Field said that this year, with renewed interest in the place for renewable energy in the province, the drought conditions in Calgary, and other effects from climate in the news made holding a symposium a higher priority than ever before.

“In 2021 Council was very proactive in declaring a climate emergency, and now that we have a Calgary climate strategy and implementation plan, we’re actually moving forward with implementing a lot of those actions,” Field said.

“When people come to events like this, the climate symposium, we really want to let them know what they can do in their communities and with different groups in the city to take collective action rather than just individual action. And to let them know what sort of financial incentives and opportunities the City has going on that they could take advantage of.”

He said that one of the goals in letting Calgarians know what opportunities exist comes from many people not knowing where to start on climate change, or where to get scientifically accurate information on the effects of climate change.

“There’s a lot of credible information that comes from the City of Calgary and a lot of our community organizations regarding climate data and climate science. We are quite a trusted source for a lot of our local environmental and climate issues and action,” Field said.

“We really want people to have the right information and so that’s why we invite so many prominent climate experts and external organizations as well to really bolster the message.”

Many of the City of Calgary business units were on hand at the Central Library to offer information directly after the symposium’s opening, but the majority of the sessions for the 2023 Calgary Climate Symposium were scheduled to be held online and for free.

Sessions run from Oct. 23 to Oct. 27, and can be signed up for free at www.calgary.ca/environment/climate/symposium.html.

2023 Calgary Climate Symposium topics by day

Monday, October 23

  • Climate Action in the City, emceed by Pippa Cookson-Hills, M.Sc.
  • Lessons from Waterways and their Inhabitants, emceed by Alana-Dawn Eirikson, MSW, RSW

Tuesday, October 24

  • Launching Alberta’s Emissions Neutral Building Information Exchange (ENBIX)
  • Indigenous and Planetary Health, emceed by Clark Svrcek, MD, CCFP, P.Eng., M.Eng
  • Urban Electrification of Transportation, emceed by Mariam Bello, P.Eng

Wednesday, October 25

  • Resilience Rising – Exploring Climate Equity and Reconciliation, emceed by Jaspreet Sandhu, MSW, RSW
  • The New Metric – Embodied Carbon, emceed by Gil Yaron
  • Accelerating Retrofits in Calgary’s Residential Sector, emceed by Brittany Tran

Thursday, October 26

  • Adapting and Thriving: Food Systems Resilience in the Face of Climate Change Challenges, emceed by Shane Gagnon, RPP, MCIP
  • BenchmarkYYC Awards Ceremony, emceed by Marisa Orfei

Friday, October 27

  • Community Solar Generation in Our City, emceed by Lewis Percy