Founded and chaired by Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore, The Climate Reality Project is dedicated to catalyzing a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society. To tackle climate change, we focus on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as its main culprit, and on education and grassroots action as the solution.
The organization has branches in 10 countries, including Canada.
Our approach is rooted in the empowerment of citizens: we are dedicated to equipping them to be effective catalysts for change in their communities. How do we accomplish this? By training people of all walks of life to be strong communicators on climate science and solutions. Former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore regularly trains contingencies of citizens to join the Leadership Corps, a worldwide network of Climate Reality Leaders advancing solutions and raising awareness in their communities. We also develop tools and programs that are tailored to the Canadian context, in order to deepen citizens’ impact in their communities and to propel Canada towards carbon neutrality.
We empower people like our world depends on it, because it does.
Originally named The Climate Project Canada, the organization was created in May 2007 with the objective of educating Canadians about the science and impact of climate change, as well as solutions to address it. Based on the model of The Climate Project founded by former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, the primary means of disseminating this information is through trained Climate Reality Leaders from all demographics, regions, sectors, and backgrounds. The Climate Reality Leaders originally gave adapted versions of the slide show as presented in the documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
Between September 2006 and April 2007, Mr. Gore held several training sessions in the United States. It was during this time that Mr. Gore met his original target of training 1000 Americans, with a small contingent of 21 Canadians in the mix. Upon their return to Canada, these initial trainees were met with an ever-growing demand for presentations. In May 2007, five of the original Canadian Climate Leaders (René Brunet, Peter Corbyn, Mike Gerbis, Shelley Kath, and Désirée McGraw) co-founded the Canadian organization. They had a goal of bringing Mr. Gore to Canada in order to train hundreds more Canadians within a year.
THE FIRST CANADIAN TRAINING
In April 2008, this was achieved when Mr. Gore trained 250 additional Canadians from all across the country. The Montreal training was conducted by Mr. Gore in the presence of several distinguished guests, including the Premier of Quebec, the Honourable Jean Charest; the Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development, the Honourable Line Beauchamp; and Dr. David Suzuki. There are now over 1000 Canadian Climate Reality Leaders who have been trained by Mr. Gore and the Climate Reality Project.
All Climate Reality trainees make a commitment to deliver a minimum of 10 Acts of Leadership each, within 12 months of the training. The majority of Climate Leaders have followed through with this pledge, and many have surpassed this objective tenfold by giving presentations or completing other Acts of Leadership. To date, over 700,000 Canadians have already participated in a Climate Reality Canada presentation.
Climate Reality Canada works to equip these Climate Reality Leaders with the information, skills, resources, and general support they require to deliver successful presentations. These presentations focus not only on the science and impacts of climate change but, increasingly, on a range of solutions to the climate crisis - from the personal to the global.
In January 2009, Climate Reality Canada joined forces with the David Suzuki Foundation in order to strengthen its efforts to engage Canadians in the global movement to address climate change. Al Gore and the Climate Reality Canada team chose the David Suzuki Foundation for its know-how, energy and environmental leadership in Canada. Through this strategic alliance, the David Suzuki Foundation has hosted Climate Reality Canada in its Quebec office, and plays an advisory role. However, the two organizations remain independent, with separate boards and organizational infrastructures.