Seven Big Moves “vital” in Regina’s goal to reach net-zero

Late last month, the City of Regina held an information session about their Renewable Regina net zero 2050 goal and the 7 Big Moves to help the City achieve them.

City Council unanimously set the plan in 2018 and included seven big moves to achieve the goal.

  • Retrofitting existing buildings
  • Net-zero new construction
  • Fuel switching our heating
  • Renewable energy generation
  • Reducing vehicle emissions
  • Increasing active transportation and transit use
  • Cleaning and re-energizing industry

Greg Kuntz, the director of sustainable energy and adaptation with the City, said that moves are part of the City’s Energy & Sustainability Framework.

“The seven big moves are really important, and there are actually about 32 other actions built within them, and they all play off each other,” he said. “Without enacting these moves, we essentially will have zero reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Kuntz said that while the City of Regina, as a cooperation, has a relatively low footprint, it needs to lead by example for the rest of the community.

“The community had about 5.3 million tonnes where the City of Regina is just over 100,000 tonnes,” he said. “We do have a lot of influence, and we can have a lot of impact on driving these home as a facilitator or implementing plans or actions that the community can take advantage of moving forward.

He said one of the challenges the City faces is that you can’t see if the big moves are actually leading to changes.

“I’ve heard it described as insidious almost because you can’t see it, and it’s a long-term thing,” Kuntz said. “As the city, we are committed to measuring and reporting these emissions on a three or five-year cycle.”

Kuntz said it would also be hard for residents to notice some changes.

“I think one of the things you are going to see is a lot more electric vehicles and electric transportation. There is a replacement schedule for the buses to move to electric buses and things along that line; you are going to see a lot more renewable energy generation, like solar panels and wind; those are going to be the really obvious things that you see.”

He said that if the City wants community members to reduce their footprint as well, it’s important the City leads by example.

“It’s a bold plan; it’s a big plan; if we don’t essentially put our money where our mouth is on this one and start implementing the actions ourselves, I don’t think we have any credibility to ask anyone else to do it, from that perspective, we need to do this actions if we expect the community too.”

The City has 17 years to hit the zero-emission goal, which Kuntz adds seems like a long time, but they will push that timeline to hit net zero.

The moves will not only see the City become more environmentally friendly but switching to renewable energy, which will create opportunities for new industries and jobs in Regina, with the potential growth of 4,000 jobs a year. The suggested plan shows financial inputs matching revenue by 2030 with a financial return of $12.5 billion by 2050.

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