The Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (EMRB) has voted to explore the creation of a unified climate strategy, which would include coordinating carbon budgets and green construction standards between many Edmonton-area municipalities.
The board members, including mayors and officials from 13 municipalities, agreed unanimously on June 10 to support the motion.
The motion was initially brought forward by Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson in April, who argued that coordination between municipalities is necessary to properly address the effects climate change will have on the region.
"Climate change impacts ... don't start or end at our municipal boundaries," he said. "(They) require us to think and design approaches in a similarly borderless way."
As part of Edmonton's Community Energy Transition Strategy and Action Plan, approved by city council this spring, the city has already begun implementing building standards that ensure greater energy efficiency. It also introduced a carbon budget, which outlines restrictions on how much carbon dioxide the city can emit to align with the worldwide goal of limiting overall global warming to 1.5C, as outlined by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Edmonton's carbon budget allows it to emit a maximum of 155 megatonnes of carbon dioxide between 2019 and 2050 — requiring a reduction in the average household's annual emissions from 20 tonnes to three tonnes.
Iveson said the motion will encourage the rest of the municipalities to follow Edmonton's lead.
"The (carbon) budget is one we need to balance," he said. "Edmonton is going to balance that budget in the coming years, and it sends a much stronger signal ... if our whole region is trying to do that."