As we emerge from the slumber of the wintertime, and as the snow begins to melt away, we can finally reveal some things we have been working on these last few months. We proudly present to you an updated website and new version of the Community Climate Hubs Handbook!
A Revamped Website
The updated website is more navigable, and is clearer in stating what the Community Climate Hubs program is about, who is the team behind the program, and how to get involved. We’ve kept some of the original content, but have revamped the website to have a new look and more up-to-date information. This will be where new resources will be posted in the future - under the “Resources” header - so be sure to consult the site regularly to stay in the loop about the resources we’ll be making available.
An Improved and Extended Handbook
The updated Handbook, on the other hand, is the result of a vast overhaul of the original version, which was created at the start of the program in 2017. The new Handbook takes into greater consideration the vast spectrum of work that is being done across the Hub network and provides resources and guidance that reflect this variance in the goals and missions of different Hubs. In addition to providing a basic overview of the Hub program, the Handbook dives into the topics of citizen group structure recommendations and common barriers associated with grassroots organizing. In addition, principles of climate justice were carefully woven throughout the content because, as we all know, the climate crisis is a social crisis.
To be able to provide a comprehensive guide on the concrete actions that Hubs can take to lead their municipalities towards climate justice and resilience, the Handbook also contains a chapter entirely dedicated to breaking down five main areas of focus within which municipalities can and should be working on incorporating more climate policies. These main areas of focus are: housing and buildings, transportation, waste management, nature and food, and climate justice. This chapter is supported by key information on the National Climate League (NCL) (which you can find more about on our website as well), and relates the NCL’s indicators to the municipal climate areas of focus.
New Hub Goals
Something new to both the website and the Handbook are some additions to the Hub goals. When this program began, the two goals guiding the initiative were as follows:
- “Help unify voices around a shared vision for decarbonization and advance their communities along the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) Milestone Framework within a reasonable timeline from the Hub’s establishment”
- “Obtain municipal commitments to net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner and ensure communities are on track to reaching their target without leaving anyone behind.”
While we maintain our belief in the importance of these goals, we’ve decided to expand their scope beyond decarbonization. Decarbonization is necessary and important, but equally so is the process in which it is done. Decarbonization refers to the technological transitions we must undertake to move from fossil fuel energy systems to renewables, but the concept doesn’t intrinsically consider how people will be implicated in such changes. If social equity and community building are not forefronted in decarbonization efforts, or at the very least considered, these efforts risk perpetuating the same systems of inequality and oppression we have now - making sustainable not only our energy sources but injustice, too.
We know that the path towards net-zero and resilience is not a straight one. Each community must tackle climate change in its own way that is unique to the local context. For some, that may look like pushing for bold decarbonization commitments from their elected officials, but for others it may look like building up the foundation of community support for climate action through connections and relationship-building amongst residents and groups in the city. Both are valuable efforts and are necessary pieces in the puzzle towards building cleaner, and more equitable communities, and therefore needed to be reflected in the ethos of the Hub program.
That’s why we've added two new goals that better encapsulate the work being done by Hubs, and are rooted in a more holistic vision of what defines local climate action. The first goal relates to making sure that justice is at the very heart of climate work, whereas the second works to position Hubs as facilitators of community and collaboration on climate work within their city.
3. “Ensure that their cities not only work to decarbonize, but do so in a way that champions building equitable, climate-resilient communities in the process.”
The second new goal is:
4. “Connect and facilitate a local network of people and groups who are working towards building sustainable, liveable communities in order to help share resources, streamline efforts and cultivate the potential for collective action.”
We hope these new goals, as well as the new Handbook and website, will provide guidance and inspiration for Hubs in their work pushing their communities towards a sustainable future for all.
You can find the updated Handbook here: https://bit.ly/handbook-CCH%20