2015 was the year for climate commitments.
2016 is the year for action. Are we ready?
Climate action is much more than a price on carbon, or a government plan. It’s about empowering action by people, communities, and businesses across Canada. It’s about positive solutions that improve our lives while reducing carbon pollution.
To get things moving, I’ve prepared a challenge paper, “Climate Action 2016“. The paper lays out four priorities for action, a proposal for for a national Climate Ready campaign, and worksheets on what climate action might look like on the ground .
The Four Priorities for Climate Action Plans
1. Turn problems into opportunities
Climate change is an immense challenge. It is also an amazing opportunity. When will we ever get another chance to re-design our communities and our economy to provide a high quality of life for all Canadians while reducing fossil fuel dependency at the same time?
2. Build the capacity for action
The transition to a low-carbon future will not happen overnight, but the first steps are all-important. We need to invest in building the capacity for change – the physical infrastructure and the organizations and businesses that can make change easy, affordable, and desirable.
3. Empower change
The best change is voluntary, not imposed. We can use carbon pricing as a mechanism to fund the future we want through incentives and investments.
4. Become climate ready
This is a chance for every community group, every organization, and every business and business association in Canada to look at how it can be part of the solution. Big or small, climate action needs to become part of our internal operations and how we engage with our members, customers, and community.
The first three priorities suggest that Canada’s climate plans need to:
- focus on the future we want
- invest in that future
- empower and incent voluntary change
Voluntary Sector Leadership
The fourth priority is for climate action to become a nation-wide commitment. Each and every one of us needs to be ready and willing to act.
This leads to the need for a national action campaign. Perhaps the most important contribution that Canada’s environmental community can make to climate action is to initiate a nation-wide Climate Ready campaign.
It’s a simple idea: a common brand backed up by statements of commitment and support from organizations, businesses and governments across the country. In turn, it will generate nationwide commitment to action and a database of support services, products, and funding to help people take action.
Ideally, this will be a collaborative campaign, with the development and administration housed in a lead organization and the campaign rolled out through a national collaboration of organization, businesses and governments.
For more information, see the Climate Ready Canada proposal on our Projects page.
Let’s make Canada Climate Ready!