Halifax took top honours in four categories and eight Canadian municipalities were singled out for recognition last week as the National Climate League released its coveted Season 2 standings.
The 2019 standings show Halifax earning top rating in four categories: air quality, tree canopy cover, landfill waste, and local agriculture. Vancouver placed first for shared vehicles and sustainable jobs, Ottawa for road safety and fuel costs, and Montreal for public transit and affordable housing. North Vancouver won a mention for green buildings, Victoria for its walk score, Calgary for its bike lanes, and Kingston for electric vehicle charging stations.
The annual campaign by Canadian Climate Hubs, a project of Climate Reality Canada, is aimed at building grassroot momentum for municipal climate action across the country. The Hubs report says last year’s standings were based on 825 data points from 82 municipalities, with more than 100 researchers, city councillors, public servants, and advocacy organizations involved in compiling the indicators.
“Season Two offered Hubs an opportunity to refine the rules of play and to further develop a fun, engaging way to track local climate progress while advancing game-changing solutions,” the report states. “Meaningful intercity teamwork is taking shape as neighbouring Hubs compare notes and share resources to more effectively #MeasureWhatMatters. What’s more, local action is laying the groundwork for a nation-wide, community-driven movement towards measuring progress and making improvements that prioritize well-being.”
Canadian Climate Hubs is hosting a webinar on the release later today.
“The National Climate League’s 2019 Standings come at a crucial time,” said League Commissioner and Climate Reality Canada project manager Natalie Richards. “With the government’s recent pledge to go carbon neutral by 2050 and an incredibly disappointing COP 25, these kinds of initiatives are important if we want to make sure we achieve net-zero emissions in 30 years.”
“What’s clear is that policy-makers need the support of residents behind climate solutions; it improves outcomes and fosters trust,” said Climate Reality Canada Executive Director André-Yanne Parent. So “ours is a model that emphasizes the need for broad public participation and continuous engagement,” added National Campaign Coordinator Matthew Chapman. “Municipalities should implement their climate plans with this in mind,” and “these standings will show them how urgent it is to do so.”