Environmental activists ask Lethbridge City Council to become leaders in fighting climate change

WATCH: Representatives from the Greensence Environmental Association went before Lethbridge City Council on Tuesday, asking for an increased use of renewable energy. Joe Scarpelli reports.

Representatives from the Greensence Environmental Association went before city council on Tuesday, requesting that Lethbridge become a leader in mitigating climate change.

“[What] we’re hoping for in the next 15 years [is] that Lethbridge would run mainly on renewable energy,” Greensence treasurer Knud Peterson said. “I think it’s entirely possible… if they develop a good strategy.”

READ MORE: Cardston goes green with installation of 500 solar panels at civic centre and arena

James Byrne, a University of Lethbridge professor, said he not only thinks that is possible, but he believes Lethbridge can benefit economically by selling power.

“We are among the sunniest spots in Canada, we are certainly – we all know – one of the windiest spots in Canada,” Byrne said. “We can generate a lot of solar and wind electricity here in southern Alberta and [it] could be a very substantial income value to our region.”

Byrne says climate science is clear and is calling for a shift towards using renewable energy. He says he went green years ago.

“I just get all my heating and cooling from the earth,” Byrne said. “That’s possible throughout the city, that’s possible in every city.”

READ MORE: Canada not prepared for climate change: environment commissioner

And possible with the right attitude, according to Peterson. He says Lethbridge has an opportunity to lead by example.

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“Climate change is a thing we need to worry about and although Lethbridge – of course – is a small player, if everybody took that attitude, then there’s no use in us doing anything about it,” he said. “If everybody took that attitude, then nothing would happen.”

Petersen also asked council to offer incentives for residents and businesses who install renewable energy infrastructure.

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