Open Letter – Call to Rescind the Calgary Climate Emergency Declaration and NetZero Plan

March 9, 2023

ATTN: Mayor Jyoti Gondek and Council

Mayor Gondek and Council,

RE: Call to Rescind the Calgary Climate Emergency Declaration and NetZero Plan [pdf, or see below]

Based on the following new evidence, we find that the Calgary Climate Emergency Declaration is unwarranted, and the NetZero Plan is uneconomic, unfair, and that there is no material supply chain to serve Net Zero plans. We ask that the Calgary Climate Emergency Declaration and the NetZero Plan be rescinded.

1) Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report shows Canadian climate emergency actions are irrelevant. On Nov 8, 2022, the Parliamentary Budget Officer issued a report (footnote) which examined two scenarios regarding greenhouse gas emissions and Canada’s role in affecting climate change.[1] The PBO found that the economic impacts of climate change on our GDP in 2100 would be 6.6% of GDP if no country met any Paris Agreement targets or spent any money on climate change. If all countries met their targets and spent trillions of dollars to address climate change the impact on Canada’s GDP would be 5.8%. This indicates that the impact of climate change would be nominal and not worth the many billions that the City of Calgary, as a municipal entity alone, proposes to spend to address the alleged climate emergency. The PBO calculations were based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models and used a warming of 2.5 degrees Celsius, as recommended by Environment and Climate Change Canada (i.e., far above the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees Celsius).[2]

2) Calgary’s climate plan is spending 62% of the calculated national ‘climate economic damage’ 80 years from now. Regarding the PBO findings, this means that if Canada’s economy grows at a rate of 2% per year, by 2100, we would have a ~$10 trillion/yr. national GDP. Thus, a 6.6% impact would be about $140 billion in economic damages. The City of Calgary is proposing to spend 62% of that to ‘stop climate change.’ Current spending on climate change is all deficit financed. This will create an untenable burden for our children, will divert tax dollars from essential current municipal needs, and will not do a thing to ‘stop climate change.’

3) Canada’s (let alone Calgary’s) emissions are immaterial in the global context. As the PBO states: “While the impact on Canadian GDP is from global GHG emissions, Canada’s own emissions are not large enough to materially impact climate change.” (Italics added) Thus, Calgary’s emissions are certainly not large enough to justify such spending. For perspective, China emits in one month, what Canada emits in a year and a half.[3]

4) Climate Activist websites or cities bandwaggoning “Climate Emergency Declarations” do not reflect scientific evidence. In the revised Notice of Motion of Nov. 09, 2021, the Calgary Climate Emergency Declaration references a climate activist website which is run out of Australia.[4] The IPCC AR6 Working Group I Physical Sciences report of August 2021 only mentions “climate crisis” and “climate emergency” once, in reference to media coverage of climate change. Despite UN Sec.-Gen. Antonio Guterres politicizing climate change by claiming it is “Code Red for humanity,” the IPCC science report does not support such claims; in fact, as reported by long-time climate analyst, Roger Pielke, Jr., the AR6 report has significantly dialed back its projections from the previous AR5 and the IPCC SR1.5 report (which misleadingly used the RCP8.5 scenario – see below). Climate scientists and economists have stated that setting a climate deadline is dangerous as it is based on computer simulated models and may lead to unjustified authoritarian actions;[5] indeed the potential for ‘climate lockdowns’ or government-imposed rationing have appeared in the “Overton Window” for some time now, under the guise of ‘using pandemic measures to fight climate change.’ [6] [7]

5) The Calgary Climate Strategy’s economic analysis improperly uses an implausible scenario known as RCP 8.5 as if a ‘conservative’ scenario.[8] Climate policies worldwide have been skewed by the misuse of RCP 8.5* which is a projected scenario of a world using 4 times the oil and 7 times the coal presently used. Robert Lyman’s report “BETWEEN THE IMPLAUSIBLE AND IMPOSSIBLE: The Misused Scenario Driving Climate Emergency Policies” explains this in plain language.[9] A peer-reviewed paper by Pielke, Jr., and Ritchie (2021) further explains this issue.[10] [*RCP – Representative Concentration Pathway regarding projections of future warming.]

6) “Free trees” cost everyone. We note that the City of Calgary is now offering some 2,000 trees, valued at $45 each (3 per applicant) to the public ‘for free,’ in a program valued at some $90,000.[11] These are not ‘free’ trees, they are paid for by taxpayers and small-medium sized businesses, many of whom are struggling to feed their families or survive economically in post-COVID lockdown times. This appears to be part of the Calgary Climate plan and promoted by activist groups like the Calgary Climate Hub [12] and supporters of the Calgary Climate Emergency Declaration like the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good.[13] Planting trees is one thing; how many will survive? Why not accomplish a similar objective by reducing property taxes for those who can show receipts for tree-purchases and images of the planted trees on their property? Why make all taxpayers fund trees they will not personally enjoy and for which there is no program of proper maintenance and tending in place?

7) There is no material supply chain to support the global NetZero goals. The Geological Survey of Finland commissioned Simon Michaux to analyze the available mines and minerals to meet the proposed NetZero plans, and he found that there is simply no supply chain to support the ambitious goals.[14] It would take thousands of years and many billions of barrels of oil to mine the critical minerals required. Therefore, NetZero plans are doomed to fail. Robert Lyman has written a short, plain language summary report [15] of Michaux’s 1000 page work. We recently issued a video explainer on this matter: “Reality Check on Canada’s Sustainable Jobs Plan.” [16]

In light of this evidence, it is clear that the declared Climate Emergency and related climate strategy are unjustified and should be rescinded. Tax dollars must be applied to conventional municipal operational needs and not frittered away on policies that are not based on sound scientific evidence or rational cost-benefit analysis.

Ron Davison, P. Eng.

[2] Bjorn Lomborg had similar findings (on a global scale) in peer-reviewed work in 2015, meaning the many trillions spent on climate change mitigation to date have been wasted.
[8] pg. 3 “When assessing climate-related economic risks it is prudent to consider the greatest plausible change scenario relative to the present, which in practice means working with the RCP 8.5 scenario (i.e., the most conservative of global “no climate policy” scenarios).”
[16] Reality Check on Canada’s Sustainable Jobs Plan


  1. Fran Manns

    The further these guys are from science the less logic they use. There is more and more evidence used less and less by politicians.

  2. Liz Howell

    Excellent logical letter. I agree totally….a waste of taxpayer’s money! I hope the City reads it and takes heed. I felt like this the moment the City came out with this plan. It is not their decision. Please work on running the City properly and stop chasing rainbows….

  3. Susan Fox

    Excellent letter! Encompasses all areas of unfounded reasoning!

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