Canmore has a long-standing commitment to taking meaningful action related to environmental stewardship and climate change action. On Oct. 1, 2019, Council declared a State of Climate Emergency. The declaration of a State of Climate Emergency is intended to reaffirm that commitment and add Canmore’s voice to a growing number of communities, territories, and nations making similar declarations.
Climate Action Plan
A Climate Action Plan updates our greenhouse gas inventory (community and corporate), updates our greenhouse gas reduction targets, updates our Action Plan, and identifies a suite of actions to achieve these targets in alignment with requirements of the Global Covenant of Mayors. Ongoing monitoring and reporting of the Town’s climate actions is essential to build awareness and keep climate actions top of mind for staff, Council, businesses, and citizens in Canmore.
By 2030, the community of Canmore will reduce its GHG emissions by 30% below 2015 levels. It is proposed the Town of Canmore adopt a Corporate target to achieve a 50% reduction in its Corporate emissions given we have much greater control over our own buildings and operations emissions.
By 2050, the Town will reduce community and Corporate emissions by 80% below 2015 levels, which is aligned with Federal GHG emission targets. This target is important because it signals much greater emission reductions are necessary after 2030. Although it is anticipated that some of these emission reductions will be achieved through step changes in technology (e.g. electric vehicles), action is required immediately in all of the sectors in order to set up the community for success. By adopting a 2050 aspirational target, the Town is signaling to citizens, businesses and industry that significant emission reductions are required now and into the future. The Climate Action Plan also identifies additional targets specific to each sector (buildings, transportation and waste).
Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Plan
The Town of Canmore is taking steps to address climate change and ensure Canmore is safe, prosperous, and resilient in the future by developing a Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Plan. While the Environmental Sustainability Action Plan focuses on mitigation efforts to tackle the causes of climate change, the adaptation plan tackles the effects.
Climate projections for the Bow Valley point towards increases in temperature and changing precipitation patterns. By the 2050s, mean annual temperature is anticipated to rise 1.9°C over the 1961-1990 average with an increase in mean annual precipitation of about 5%; summer precipitation is projected to decline by about 5%. Projected changes in average temperature and precipitation for the Bow Valley will have broad consequences across the natural environment, including the size of our glaciers, winter snowpack, streamflow, wildfires and forest pests, and regional ecosystems.
Projected climate and environmental changes could have numerous impacts on Canmore, with consequences for municipal infrastructure and services, private property, the local economy and environment, and the health and lifestyle of citizens. In anticipation of the potential risks and opportunities presented by these changes, the Town of Canmore has developed a Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Plan.
You can download the Climate Change Adaptation Background Report and Resilience Plan pdf here (2.54 MB) .
What is the Town of Canmore Doing to Address Climate Change?
Environmental sustainability has been a focus of the Town of Canmore for the past decade, with several Councils having approved plans and initiating action to address environmental sustainability and climate change. Our actions and initiatives are numerous, including:
- approving the 2010 Environmental Sustainability Action Plan (revised in 2013),
- building LEED certified buildings,
- partnering with the Town of Banff and ID9 to operate local and regional ROAM transit,
- putting in place sustainable building requirements,
- creating an environmental stewardship volunteer award,
- conducting energy efficiency audits of our facilities,
- implementing cycling and pedestrian improvements to shift mode share,
- approving solar installations for Town facilities,
- implementing a community wide organics composting program,
- increasing our in-house resources from one part time sustainability coordinator in 2006 to two full-time staff (one grant funded), who are focused on sustainability and climate action