Regina pledges to go to 100% renewable energy by 2050

Regina city council has voted unanimously in favour of getting 100 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2050.

Some councillors suggest electric buses

The City of Regina has committed to switch to other forms of energy, including solar and wind power, rather than fossil fuels. (Tom Ayers/CBC)

Regina city council has voted unanimously in favour of being "100 per cent renewable" by 2050.

That means completely moving away from fossil fuels when it comes to generating power for the city.

The motion was brought to council Oct. 29, with the backing of councillors Andrew Stevens, Joel Murray and John Findura.

"People at all levels of government should be taking climate change seriously," Stevens said. "And this means the municipal leadership when it comes to building alternatives.

"It's not just about fearing climate change, it's about doing something about it."

In passing the motion, council received a standing ovation from people at city hall. Many passionately spoke about why the city should be taking climate change seriously.

"I will be a huge cheerleader for our city on the national stage," said Mayor Michael Fougere. "I'm incredibly proud and excited about this motion and I really like what the [delegations have] had to say.

"When we get this report next year, we're going to find out where we go from here."

City administration has been asked to return to council in 2019 with a proposed framework for becoming 100 per cent renewable.

That will likely include a shift to solar and wind power and electric buses, as suggested by members of council.

Administration will be seeking external funding sources, including grants through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, to finance the report and future costs of the commitment.

An amendment to the motion, suggested by Bob Hawkins, was passed, and with it, administration will have to come up with four possibilities for improving the environmental sustainability of Regina for implementation in 2023.

The provincial government has promised to have 50 per cent of the province's electricity come from renewable resources by 2030. SaskPower recently said it is on track to meet that goal.

The motion that was passed in Regina is the first to set a specific goal on renewable energy.