Not only is the City of Edmonton the first municipality in North America to commit to a carbon budget, but they’re also engaging with the public and mayors worldwide to take steps forward together for climate action. Since the 2013 election, Mayor Don Iveson has led the charge in developing a municipal climate action plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. According to Iveson, “public engagement is the most important dimension of this.” Therefore, the city developed the Energy Transition Climate Resilience Committee comprised of 15 local experts to guide the city council in climate action implementation. To further engage local residents, the city created the Citizens’ Panel on Edmonton’s Energy and Climate Challenges. The panel allows a diversity of citizens to provide their feedback on Edmonton's Energy Transition Plan. Iveson also recognizes the importance of amplifying youth voices to help bridge public division.
In 2018, Edmonton hosted a climate action summit to convene international Mayers. The summit led to the development of the Edmonton Declaration, a call-to-action for municipalities to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It calls on the science community and all levels of government to coordinate climate efforts and highlights the critical role of municipalities in achieving Paris Agreement targets. So far, thousands of cities, as well as Indigenous communities, have signed the Edmonton Declaration.
Photo by Lisa Marie from Getty Images/Canva