July 24th, 2024

City council approves climate action plan

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on July 10, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge city council has approved the City’s climate adaptation strategy and action plan.
The plan, says the City, takes proactive steps to mitigate the costs and risks associated with extreme weather for years to come.
The plan was passed as part of the consent agenda Tuesday in council chambers.
“The strategy and plan identifies ways we can better weatherproof our City assets and services when an extreme weather event comes our way,” said mayor Blaine Hyggen in a press release.
“The community provided excellent feedback to help us understand what their values and needs are which are reflected in the strategy and action plan we approved today.”
The plan was developed by City administration working with outside consultants. It provides direction for continued planning of extreme weather and climate change to position the city to be resilient when facing weather-related challenges.
“The strategy and plan identify challenges around water management, emergency preparedness, extreme weather and changing climate conditions,” says Mandi Parker, general manager of Waste and Environment, in the City release.
“It also evaluates potential risks across the social, natural and built economic systems. This helps us to really understand the impact to the community, particularly the vulnerable members of the community.”
The Governance Standing Policy committee of city council recommended council approve the plan at its June 27 meeting which saw several members of the public speaking in favour of, and against, the document.
The plan says the cost of economic losses from impacts within the city boundaries if no adaptation or mitigation occurs would be $252.8 million by 2055 and $702.5 million by 2085.
The report says the greatest costs will be to public health and building sectors.
Top climate risks for the city, according to the plan, are extreme heat, drought, ecoregion shift and grassfires as well as grassfire and wildfire smoke.
The plan contains 33 actions organized into eight themes.
The plan states that historically between 1976 and 2005 there were 17 days above 30C. From 2051-80, there are expected to be 54 days a year when the temperature soars above 40C.
Flooding is also expected to increase with the historic 24-hour rainfall intensity between 1981 and 2010 being 4.8 millimetres per hour. Between 2071-2100, that is forecast to increase to 6.4 mm/hr.
Projections call for earlier snow melt with longer, hotter and drier summers leading to drought conditions.

Share this story:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments