TORONTO — Sustainable Canada Dialogues, a network of over 60 researchers from all provinces of Canada, today released a new compilation, Acting on Climate Change: Extending the Dialogue Among Canadians at University of Toronto’s Hart House. The compilation consists of 28 individual and group reports representing a spectrum of viewpoints including First Nations, business, non‐governmental organizations, labour and private citizens from across Canada. It is a unique document given the number and the diversity of the viewpoints proposing climate solutions for the country.
Earlier this year, the organization released Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian Scholars, “a consensus on feasible solutions to help Canada transition to a low-carbon society and economy, beginning immediately.” The authors invited comments to expand the report, and over just a few months a new compilation evolved adding depth and breadth to Canada’s climate solutions agenda.
“Extending the Dialogue Among Canadians shows Canada is brimming with ideas, possibilities and the will to act,” said UNESCO‐McGill Chair holder, Dr. Catherine Potvin, who spearheaded the initiative. “We released the new compilation at the height of the federal election campaign to help engage more Canadians in discussion of climate change as an essential issue for Canada’s future.” Potvin said political candidates took notice, with representatives of four political parties confirming their intention to participate in the launch.
“Throughout the federal election campaign, climate change discussions have centered on pricing carbon and restoring Canada’s image internationally. Sustainable Canada Dialogues found a variety of interesting climate action proposals in all federal party platforms—with the exception of Conservative—but found that ideas related to energy use are less developed than those related to energy production*.” Potvin went on to say that energy use (such as in transportation and buildings) “… offers some of the best opportunities for win‐win solutions that could increase social well‐being while reducing emissions and increasing sustainability.”
Acting on Climate Change: Extending the Dialogue Among Canadiansbroadens the vision of “the possible,” said Potvin. She explained the compilation shows that for Canadians, climate action is also about:
- Fully engaging Nation to Nation with Indigenous peoples on renewable energy projects;
- Creating the right conditions to invest in green businesses and stimulate innovation;
- Supporting workers, especially those working in the fossil fuel industries, during the transition to a low carbon society and economy;
- Building partnerships for local implementation, bearing in mind that Canadians desire supportive communities;
- Reinventing cities and redefining transportation in terms of access;
- Taking into account the perspectives of youth, who will live out the consequences of decisions made today.
“We hope that Acting on Climate Change: Extending the Dialogue Among Canadians could become the seed of an inclusive, country‐wide consultation on the best way for Canada to transition towards a low-carbon, sustainable society and economy.”
Beyond the federal election, Sustainable Canada Dialogues aims to provide input to the next government to ensure Canada is equipped to put its best face forward at the Paris Climate Conference just weeks away.
Representing Brock University are Drs. Liette Vasseur and Gary Pickering (ESRC, Biological Sciences, and CCOVI).
To view the new compilation or individual contributions to Acting on Climate Change: Extending the Dialogue, go to:http://sustainablecanadadialogues.ca/en/scd/extendingthedialogue