‘We want a better future’: City of Regina to release Energy and Sustainability Framework

On Monday, the City of Regina will release its proposed Energy & Sustainability Framework, highlighting a plan for the city to become 100 per cent renewable and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The goal was set by city council in 2018.

The city’s website says the plan is “a bold yet achievable path to mitigate climate change by cutting emissions, reducing energy consumption and shifting to renewable or low-carbon energy sources.”

Ahead of its release, a group of youth called Fridays for Future gathered with representatives from city council to present what they believe should be included in the framework.

“We are here to speak up to show that we care and we want a better future,” Sophia Young with Fridays for Future said. “We see that climate change impacts all of us. We can build a better, safer and more equitable Regina through the framework, so we need the municipal government to act and choose the plan that keeps Regina’s share of global warming to 1.5 degrees or lower.”

Young said the group is advocating for a fully funded energy and sustainability framework that includes fare-free transit for youth.

Keven Li, a grade 11 student, said he uses transit every day to get to school and back.

“As useful as transit is, it needs improvement,” Li said. “For us new immigrants, for us students, for us as a city and for our future environment, we need fare-free transit.”

Sophia Young addresses a group of youth gathering to share their concerns about climate change with the City of Regina. (Stefanie Davis/CTVNews)

Cheryl Stadnichuk, city councilor for Ward 1, said there was a lot of consultation and outreach that went into preparing the proposed framework.

“A lot of the steps are around how we can either reduce our emissions or reduce our energy usage and transition to more renewable energy options,” she said. “When you look at our emissions in the community, [the City of Regina] is just a fraction of the energy usage and so it is so important that this framework talks about the entire community because industry and transportation are the two biggest areas, in terms of our admissions.”

She said although this framework is quite comprehensive, there will still be a lot of work to be done.

The framework plan will be presented to city council for consideration at a special executive committee meeting on March 24.

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