Cities: A Needed Part of Alberta’s New Story

As the United Nations Climate Change Conference draws to a close this week, there is parallel summit that is of significance for Alberta political decision makers: the Copenhagen Climate Summit for Mayors.

In Canadian and world politics, the buzz around the Copenhagen UN gathering is Alberta’s oil sands – for which we are tarred and feathered.  But there is a parallel, and perhaps more dramatic issue at hand that we ought to pay attention to: 75% of global CO2 emissions come from the worlds largest cities.

In Canada and Alberta, it is time to recognize and support the role local government has in creating a future where Albertans will thrive – economically, socially and culturally.  To do that, consideration of our development practices, and the impacts direct and indirect on the environment we rely on, is paramount.  A new political will in Alberta is needed that creates partnership between the Government of Alberta and its “children” municipalities.  A new Alberta that will meet the needs of generations to come starts with a new political climate that allows mayors, reeves and councils (and all other forms of local government, like school boards) to thrive. This is whole new conversation for Alberta, and one that I am committed to supporting.

The opportunity before Alberta – create a new story.  If interested, check out Reboot Alberta, an endeavour to cultivate a new political compass – http://rebootalberta.org/

(For a snapshot of mayors of Copenhagne, you may be interested in the Mayors in Copenhagen Panel – http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2009/200912/20091214.html)

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