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Link basic income to just transition, green resilience project urges governments

Economic security through a basic income must be at the center of the just transition from fossil fuels, and Canadians need ways to build resilience in their own communities, the Green Resilience Project concluded earlier this month. , based on a series of 33 local conversations involving more than 900 participants across the country.

Canadians are increasingly exposed to climate impacts and want to do something about the climate emergency, the year-long project says in its final report, but they often lack the resources and political clout to act. The report calls on governments and policy makers to:

• Incorporate basic income into Canada’s plan for a just transition;

• Design income security and climate policies that aim to improve individual and collective quality of life;

• Empower people and communities with the tools and resources they need to build or strengthen resilience;

• Ensure that corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.

“Participants in the conversation spoke about the challenges they face in their daily lives and explored solutions that have the potential to strengthen or strengthen the resilience of communities, ensuring that everyone has what they need to navigate a changing environment and economy as Canada moves toward net-zero emissions,” writes the project team. During the series of sessions, facilitated by a network of local partners, “we encountered hope, fear, grief and a clear sense of urgency to implement transformative solutions that improve the lives of all”.

The Green Resilience team distilled these discussions into four main themes:

• Canadians “are increasingly exposed to climate impacts”, particularly if they face income insecurity or other forms of financial precariousness, “but are often unable to participate in proportionate climate solutions due to systemic barriers”.

• Participants were “interested in solutions that bring tangible improvements to their lives,” including accessible and affordable local food, energy-efficient housing and public transit, and stronger local economies, services and infrastructure .

• But many participants were “skeptical of their ability to take meaningful action on climate change and income insecurity”, knowing that they have much less influence on big issues than governments and corporations. “Many feel that individual actions are limited in their effectiveness and that governments are not taking enough action to address these issues.”

• The flip side of this skepticism is that “communities are ready to act but lack the political and economic agency to effect the scale of change needed,” writes Green Resilience. “Governments must respond to this challenge with transformative policies that address the root causes of climate change and income insecurity while empowering communities to take self-sustaining action.”

The project has produced a set of open-access resources for community groups interested in hosting their own local conversations, and is now seeking funding to continue building local connections between income security, climate resilience and a transition. just off fossil fuels.

The April 13 launch of the project drew an almost immediate response in a joint press release from Senators Rosa Galvez (ISG-Quebec) and Kim Pate (ISG-Ontario).

“The concurrent health and climate crises are exacerbating income insecurity,” Galvez said. “Economic recovery from the pandemic should focus on our transition to a low-carbon economy while helping to reduce inequality.”

“Canada is committed to implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” added Pate. “Goal number one demands that we start by ending poverty. While millions of Canadians live below the poverty line and millions more struggle to make ends meet, in order to ensure a sustainable and healthy environment, we need a healthy economy that leaves no one side.

Leadnow followed up with a Twitter thread last week. “The ultra-rich contribute the most to the climate crisis, but we are the ones who suffer the consequences,” the group says. declared. “In order to tackle climate change, we must also tackle income inequality. These are both symptoms of a system based on endless extraction.

Energy Mix Productions was one of the main organizations behind the project, along with the Basic Income Canada Network.