True leadership empowers others to lead.
Leadership on climate change lies not merely the act of imposing a carbon price, it lies in the ability to use a carbon price as the means to stimulate action across Canada for a better future.
Once we realize that Canada’s climate and sustainability strategies need to focus on the voluntary transition to a conserver future, then the purpose of government leadership is to make it easy, affordable, and desirable for companies and individuals to act.
In our 2015 review, “The Future Canadians Want”, we set the bar high for government leadership. We were not just looking for a quick-fix policy a single program, we were looking for a deep investment in the infrastructure, social capacity and the culture of conservation. We want to see government leadership that encourages and facilitates action across our society and economy.
The need to improve our high-level plans was one of the key findings of our 2015 review of sustainability leadership in Canada – and one of the main reasons we rated Canada as a “C” grade overall.
In particular, this is what we look for in leadership:
- clear targets
- integrated implementation across all ministries
- Future Funds to invest in our future
- investing in green infrastructure
- investing in social infrastructure and community action
- incentives for voluntary action across all sectors
With the advent of new provincial and national strategies on climate change, we have the opportunity to use the powerful mandate for climate action to make a substantial improvement in our collective ability to shift Canada onto a healthy and sustainable path – one that improves our quality of life while reducing our environmental (and climate) footprint.
With strong leadership, we have the potential to set the wheels in motion to implement a common vision of the future Canadians want.