FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 17/03/22
MONTREAL, March 17, 2022 – For the fourth year in a row, The Climate Reality Project Canada (CRPC) is releasing its National Climate League (NCL) Standings. One of the 2022 Clean50 Top Projects honourees, the NCL is a yearly project developed by the organization that was first launched in 2018. An exercise in participative democracy, its purpose is to encourage municipalities to reach Net Zero by or before 2050 by highlighting local solutions that help improve the lives of Canadians.
How it Works
To quantify positive impacts and #MeasureWhatMatters, volunteers across Canada track the progress of municipalities across Canada on 31 sustainability indicators. CRPC developed 16 primary and 15 complementary indicators representative of living a better and more sustainable life, centered around themes such as transport, food, waste, health and our newest one: justice. The climate crisis is, undoubtedly, a social justice issue. It puts some people more at risk than others, exposing and enhancing the pervasive inequities and injustices in our society. With the creation of this new theme, we hope to bring light to such issues.
At citizens’ request, municipalities submit data for each of these indicators based on a variety of methodologies established by CRPC. This year, 551 new data points were submitted from 66 municipalities and regions across Canada, for a total of 2,639 data points in the database.
These data points are then compiled by CRPC into its yearly Standings,which highlight Canadian municipalities excelling in these 31 indicators. The 2021 Standings feature 16 winning municipalities across Canada that are taking bold climate action with their ambitious and inspiring climate policies and programs.
Why Municipal Action Matters
Cities consume over 70% of the world’s energy sources; tackling the problem at a smaller urban scale could therefore be the key to unlocking a just recovery and a greener future. Climate action and policies should trickle up and not trickle down, because cities are much more aware of what goes on within their regions and can develop solutions that are both environmentally and culturally adequate for them. The National Climate League therefore presents a key opportunity for a more participative democracy, resulting in the creation of public policy that is not only informed by the public, but citizenled as well.
How Can Citizens Change their Communities?
Citizens call on their city councillors and municipal staff to submit data on 31 different indicators to an open database called the Stat Tracker. This data collection methodology engages citizens in all aspects of the policy process; it keeps citizens involved, with meaningful and impactful public participation. It also provides the opportunity to get to know their elected officials and allows them to hold them accountable when it comes to their climate commitments. Individuals can use the National Climate League Standings, and the data in the Stat Tracker, to advocate and lobby for policies that help improve the lives of people in their community.
“Engaging citizens with their municipal councillors in this annual data collection is an opportunity for a real-time analysis of climate lenses in decision-making. Harvesting the gains in these relationships can go a long way to building the trust needed to increase the scope of climate lenses within major municipal decisions,” said Janet Mrenica, Regional Organizer for Southeastern Ontario.
“Though the pandemic still remains our primary challenge right now, we cannot neglect climate change and social injustice,” said Normand A. Garcia, Data Captain of the Winnipeg Climate Hub. "Everything is interconnected. Citizen involvement in the NCL is crucial for transparency and access to data in our municipalities, which supports change in the right direction.”
About the Climate Reality Project Canada
The Climate Reality Project Canada is the Canadian branch of the Climate Reality Project, founded in 2006 by former Vice President of the United States and Nobel Laureate Al Gore. Its mission is to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across all levels of society. It does so by training a vast and international network of Climate Reality Leaders to become effective communicators on the science and solutions to climate change.
There are 42,278 Climate Reality Leaders worldwide, of which 1,648 are in Canada. Their mission is to spread awareness amongst their peers and to advance solutions to the climate crisis. The Climate Reality Canada is also the founder of the Community Climate Hub initiative, which aims to decarbonize cities across the country, and the Campus Corps program, which aims to support students at participating campuses as they take countless initiatives to fight the climatecrisis.