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Calgary Climate Symposium

Calgary Climate Symposium

Thank you for participating

The 2023 Calgary Climate Symposium ran from October 23 – 27, offering a week of knowledge and insights from community leaders, entrepreneurs, climate experts and City staff. We thank all attendees, presenters and special guests for sharing their expertise and passion on the important topic of climate change, one of the biggest issues facing the world today. We look forward to seeing you, on and offline, in 2024.

"We are reminded of the power of collective action and the potential to shape a greener, more resilient future for our city as the 5th Annual Calgary Climate Symposium ends. Calgarians came together to learn from each other, climate experts, and community leaders about how we can turn today's efforts into tomorrow's sustainable legacy. We are excited to see the impact of these discussions and collaborations in the months to come."

Carolyn Bowen, Director, Climate & Environment

Missed a session or want to revisit one?

Session recordings are now available on this page as well as on the 2023 Calgary Climate Symposium YouTube Playlist, where Calgarians and businesses can continue to learn more about climate action in the Calgary context.

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Subscribe to the Climate Change mailing list to stay informed on how The City is addressing climate issues.

Visit to learn more about our goal to lower collective carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050.

Highlights of the 2023 Climate Symposium

Sessions from the 2023 Calgary Climate Symposium

The 2023 Calgary Climate Symposium included sessions for students of all ages on a broad range of environmental topics. A selection of video recordings from the 2023 Calgary Climate Symposium can be found here.

Have questions about the Calgary Climate Symposium ? Contact

October 23

Session #1: Building a Sustainable Future: Opening of the 2023 Calgary Climate Symposium

Welcome to the Calgary Climate Symposium, where we gather to ignite change, discuss climate challenges, and build a greener and healthier Calgary for everyone. This symposium serves as a platform to explore how Calgary can position itself for a low-carbon future, strengthen communities to be resilient to climate change impacts, and ensure no one is left behind as we look to the future.

Building a Sustainable Future: Opening of the 2023 Calgary Climate Symposium marks the beginning of this informative event. The speakers embody the spirit of change and resilience. We are honored to welcome Clarence Wolfleg Miiksika’am (Red Crane), a Cultural and Spiritual Advisor from the Siksika Nation, Jyoti Gondek, the Mayor of Calgary, Stuart Dalgleish, the Chief Operating Officer of The City of Calgary, and Carolyn Bowen, Director of Climate and Environment at The City of Calgary. Together, they will offer their expertise and perspectives on shaping a sustainable future for our city.

Session #2: Climate Action in the City

Climate change poses a significant risk to Calgary. The City of Calgary declared a climate emergency and is committed to working with all Calgarians to lower our collective carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050 and reduce the impacts of climate change by planning, building, and leading a climate-resilient city.

Council-approved the Calgary Climate Strategy: Pathways to 2050 and this strategy sets the City’s climate vision, guiding principles, goals and targets to achieve the outcomes of the Climate Emergency Declaration. There are also a number of initiatives and programs that you can participate in to help reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to the City’s climate action goals.

Session #3: Lessons from Waterways and their Inhabitants

Three undergraduate students from the University of Calgary partnered with community organizations and presented the interconnected lessons they have learned from water and the beaver during these projects. Emily Tulk spoke about the importance of the beaver. Sadie Popoff connected that to the concept of wildlife resiliency and Jer Bobosky spoke about the creation of podcasts with the Elbow River Watershed Project (ERWP) that focus on lessons from the water.

All three projects are examples of working with not-for-profit organizations to pursue and promote sustainability. This work was kindly supported by the Office of Sustainability at the University of Calgary, Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation, and the Elbow River Watershed Partnership.

This event is part of the Mobilizing Alberta Climate Conversations speaker series hosted by the University of Calgary as part of UCalgary Sustainability Week 2023 (Oct. 23-28). This session is co-hosted by the City of Calgary Climate Symposium Oct. 23-27, 2023 and the UCalgary Cumming School of Medicine.

October 24

Session #4: Launching Alberta’s Emissions Neutral Building Information Exchange (ENBIX)

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation in partnership with the City of Calgary, Smart Sustainable Resilient Infrastructure Association, and the Calgary Construction Association ran a half year engagement activity with industry in Calgary to determine what would be required to develop an industry led organization to help build knowledge and skills around emissions neutral buildings that contribute towards Calgary’s climate goals. This activity was called "Shaping the Exchange”, and this session will explore what it discovered and what is next for Alberta’s “Emissions Neutral Building Information Exchange” (ENBIX).

Session #5: Indigenous and Planetary Health

The Climate Conversations 2023-24 speaker series brings you its first keynote speaker, Dr. Nicole Redvers ND, MPH Deninu K’ue First Nation, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Western Research Chair & Director, Indigenous Planetary Health.

Learn about the interconnections between planetary health, human health, and biodiversity, and the importance of reciprocal relationships with the planet from an Indigenous worldview. Increase your awareness and knowledge of the importance of Indigenous languages and knowledge systems to planetary and human health. We will discuss ways to support and advocate for the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in planetary health at local, regional, and international levels. We will also learn how the campus community can implement planetary health principles and practices, and ways to support the leadership of Indigenous communities in this area. 

This event is part of the Mobilizing Alberta Climate Conversations speaker series hosted by the University of Calgary as part of UCalgary Sustainability Week 2023 (Oct. 23-28). This session is co-hosted by the City of Calgary Climate Symposium Oct. 23-27, 2023 and the UCalgary Cumming School of Medicine.

Session #6: Urban Electrification of Transportation

The Calgary Climate Strategy identifies accelerating the move to zero emissions vehicles as major part of its Mitigation Plan to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050. The City of Calgary is advancing this move by implementing actions in our existing Electric Vehicle and Low Emissions Vehicle Strategy and by carrying out supporting programs and initiatives through our Electric Mobility Program.

October 25

Session #7: Resilience Rising – Exploring Climate Equity and Reconciliation

Climate change poses the greatest threat to those least responsible for it, including low-income, equity seeking, and Indigenous communities. Together, we must work to address the unequal burdens made worse by climate change while ensuring that all people share the benefits of climate protection efforts. Join The City’s Equity Program Lead, the Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY), and Blood Reserve Land Management on a journey of resilience as they highlight the remarkable efforts of Indigenous communities and youth in tackling urgent climate issues, and forging a sustainable and equitable future for all.

Session #8: The New Metric – Embodied Carbon

Our homes and buildings are a major contributor to global GHG emissions. Most of our attention thus far has been on reducing emissions associated with the operation of buildings – operational carbon. More recently, we’ve realized this isn’t the complete picture and we also need to consider CO2 emissions associated with the production of building materials. Only by taking a life-cycle approach to buildings can we understand and address their impacts on climate. This includes considering the emissions associated with the production and transportation of building materials, construction and end-of-life management of buildings – what is referred to as embodied carbon.

Session #9: Accelerating Retrofits in Calgary’s Residential Sector

What will it take to accelerate retrofits in the residential sector in Calgary? In this session, learn about innovative climate solutions making an impact in Calgary, through work supported by Alberta Ecotrust’s Climate Innovation Fund. Hear about the Home Upgrades Program, which provides fully subsidized upgrades to lower income households, and Passive House Alberta’s work on electrification and its impact on deep energy retrofits. These projects are approaching residential retrofits from both an individual and societal impact level. Alberta Ecotrust Foundation’s Climate Innovation Fund launched in 2020 to support local climate action, through the Low Carbon Cities Canada Network, a pan-Canadian approach to supporting emissions reductions in cities.

October 26

Session #10: Adapting and Thriving: Food Systems Resilience in the Face of Climate Change Challenges

How will climate change impact Calgary’s food system? What food choices can you make to have an impact on climate change? Where does that align with The City of Calgary’s work to strengthen our local food system? Presentations will highlight why this is important, how climate will impact our food system, and how citizens as consumers can have an impact.

Session #11: BenchmarkYYC Awards Ceremony

Discover and celebrate the City’s top-performing buildings, learn more about the BenchmarkYYC program, and also find out how it’s helping the City more actively manage its emissions in accordance with its net zero emission targets for 2050!

October 27

Session #12: Community Solar Generation in Our City

As solar energy is so abundant in Alberta, more communities and organizations are looking at solar as a reliable and clean form of energy. This presentation, hosted by The City of Calgary, Solar Alberta, and the Bow Valley Green Energy Cooperative, focuses on community renewable energy generation projects, grid-tied solar projects on homes and businesses, and how solar installations typically work in Alberta.

Past sessions of the Calgary Climate Symposium

A selection of video recordings from previous years' Climate Symposium can be found on The City of Calgary's YouTube channel here:

Thank you to all of our 2023 Calgary Climate Symposium Partners