Published by: David Suzuki Foundation
Authored by: Nya Lazarus-Munnick, Nicola Radatus-Smith, Theresa Nguyen

Empowering change within communities can be a challenge when you don’t know where to start.

The “Equity Strategy for Municipal Climate Action Plan” presents a comprehensive strategy for municipalities to integrate equity into their Climate Action Plans. A notable finding is that most Canadian CAPs lack an equity component, and when it is included, it is either as part of the city’s climate actions or described in a separate strategy.

Equity-deserving communities frequently bear the brunt of climate change effects, such as urban heat islands, flooding and pollution, without reaping the benefits of climate actions due to various barriers. This strategy aims to guide municipalities in empowering communities and building resilience in all aspects of climate action planning.

This resource is designed to be adaptable, allowing municipalities to tailor it to their specific needs and circumstances. It emphasizes internal and external strategies to advance equity goals, featuring insights from municipalities throughout Canada.

Key lessons include:

  • Understanding the governance structures influencing plan creation and adoption, with climate teams playing a pivotal role in coordinating actions across various sectors.
  • These teams’ positioning within municipal structures positively affects their capacity to prioritize and implement climate justice concerns.
  • Acknowledging that incorporating equity into climate plans is a growing and challenging endeavour for municipalities.

This report not only serves as a guide for municipalities to integrate equity into their climate action plans but also stands as a beacon of hope and a call to action. It addresses the fact that climate change is not just an environmental issue but also a social one, requiring a coordinated effort by governments and communities.

By adopting this strategy, municipalities can lead the way in creating a more sustainable, just and resilient future for all, demonstrating that when it comes to climate action, inclusivity is not just an option but a necessity.

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