One of our greatest strengths - as a collective, is our ability to share tips, tools, and triumphs. We also support each other when motions don’t go our way, and we share (and learn from) our challenges.
It’s not easy changing course in a local government setting, especially changing course quickly. The inertia to maintain the status quo is no joke. But, here’s the deal: municipalities contribute up to half of Canada’s emissions and Canada will never meet its climate targets without elected leaders like us driving transformative change at the local level.
We recognize that some municipalities have been tackling climate change for a decade or more and have dedicated staff. Others are just getting started without dedicated staff resources. With this spectrum in mind, we’ve created the Municipal Climate Action Kit as a primer for getting meaningful action going in your community.
The Municipal Climate Action Kit shares three steps to get decarbonization on track in your community:
Declare a Climate Emergency
Establish a Climate Working Group
Establish a Community Climate Plan
We’re already at work on the next volume of the Municipal Climate Action Kit which will identify specific policy actions that can be implemented on a local level to immediately begin reducing carbon pollution. The Municipal Climate Action Kit: Policies will be launching Winter 2019 and cover topics as social equity, ecosystem services, land-use, building retrofits, negative carbon emissions, active transportation and climate resilient buildings.
Leading up the federal election, we’ll soon be releasing Show your work: Federal Climate Policy Report Card, which grades each party’s platform through a municipal/local lens.
While we’re on the subject of the election, download our Debate Basics guide with tips for hosting a climate debate in your area.
For a deeper dive into resources, and to connect with other elected local leaders across Canada, we encourage you to join us on on our member-driven organization platform.
PUTTING CLIMATE POLICY INTO A GLOBAL CONTEXT:
IPCC Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5°C: Summary for Policymakers
To hold global warming to 1.5°C, the IPCC science calls for a 45% reduction (over 2010 levels) in global carbon pollution by 2030 and net zero global carbon emissions by 2050.
United Nations: The Paris Agreement
The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C. Climate Action Tracker is a great resource to see how we’re all doing. (Preview: not well.)
CANADA’S CLIMATE PLAN:
Canada’s Climate Plan calls for 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. Canada has missed every climate target ever set and is no where close to achieving this reduction which was committed to in Paris in 2015. It’s also important to note that a 30% reduction falls short of holding to 2.0°C, let alone 1.5°C.
PROVINCE AND TERRITORY CLIMATE PLANS:
We’re counting on local leaders like you to hold your Province or Territory to account, and to advocate for policies that align with 1.5°C. Right now we’re 0/13, so we’ve got a lot of work to do!
While there are vast differences among each Province or Territory’s approach, a common theme is that there are no consequences for missing targets…and targets (if they even exist) are consistently missed.
Climate Caucus is advocating for legislation that holds all levels of government accountable to 1.5°C.