Why is COP26 Important to cities?

In this session, climate leaders heading to Glasgow explored how cities can advance climate action through COP26.

5 Key

A roundup of the most compelling ideas, themes and quotes from this candid conversation

Climate and economy are two sides of the same coin

According to Juvarya Veltkamp, Director of Canada Climate Law Initiative, “you can’t address climate without fundamentally changing our economy, and to change the economy I think we need better tools to make decisions.” Juvarya emphasizes the need to understand currencies as more than just dollars and cents, but also carbon, social equity, ecosystem services, and natural capital. If climate mitigation and adaptation initiatives continue to be divorced from the multi-faceted necessities of economic transitions, they will keep falling short.


Shalaka Jadhav, Design and Community Manager at Youth Climate Lab, defines multi-solving as, “an approach to problem solving that uses an intersectional lens to look at how problems are connected to each other, and how solutions can be crafted to solve multiple issues at once.” Multi-solving can also be referred to as integrative planning, which combines multiple lenses from the fields of urban planning, climate change, biodiversity, economy, equity, reconciliation and justice. This comprehensive approach requires performative targets to evaluate the efficacy of programs and initiatives.

Elevating the position of cities

Across the board, panelists recognized Canadian cities as hubs of innovation. Climate strategies are determined at the international level, ratified by national governments, imposed on regions, and enacted at the municipal level. Cities have become global leaders in green initiatives. Rik Logtenberg, City Councillor for the City of Nelson, speaks to how Nelson provided expertise for to the federal government’s Greener Homes Program. Since the majority of peoples across the world live in urban environments, cities need to be included at the highest tables in order to develop effective solutions.

Alternative visions for a just transition

By Shauna Sylvester’s observation, the Generation Energy dialogues across Canada revealed that some of the most innovative thinking came from citizens who worked in the Albertan fossil fuel industry. Despite this, labour has often been neglected in climate adaptation and mitigation considerations. COP26 is an opportunity for cities to collect best case examples for a just transition. According to Juvarya, “We need that vision to show the alternative. Here’s how we’re going to re-train. Here’s how we’re going to get people shifting into the economy of the future.” A green future requires integrating labour so that nobody is left behind in the transition.

A rise to solve

With Canada warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, the moment for action is now. There is no longer a choice. Shalaka, in her work with the Youth Climate Lab, says that youth are tired of bending. The next generation of leaders are beginning to find their stride. No longer complacent with lip service they have chosen to lead with implementable actions based on the seven generations principle: decisions that we make today need to result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future. As international standards develop to incentivize sustainable practices, climate finance is becoming a promising tool.




C40 and the Global Covenant of Mayors – Race to Zero: https://www.c40knowledgehub.org/s/cities-race-to-zero/

SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue – Canada’s Cities at COP26: http://www.citiescop26.ca/

SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue – Daily Briefings: https://www.citiescop26.ca/roadtoglasgow/

Tzeporah Berman’s TED Talk on the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty: https://www.ted.com/talks/tzeporah_berman_the_global_treaty_to_phase_out_fossil_fuels

Youth Climate Lab & Climate Caucus – Infiltration Manual: https://www.youthclimatelab.org/infiltration-manual

Youth Climate Lab at COP26 – Upcoming audio blog series on multi-solving hosted by youth from the Global South: https://www.youthclimatelab.org/multi-solving/

Full Panel

Note to readers: This video session was transcribed using auto-transcribing software. Manual editing was undertaken in an effort to improve readability and clarity. Questions or concerns with the transcription can be directed to events@canurb.org with “transcription” in the subject line.

Mary Rowe [00:01:01] Hi folks, Mary Rowe from the Canadian Urban Institute speaking to you from a very chilly Toronto, although I think my blood is just gotten thinner. I had two weeks in the West and we’ll see that we are, we have a domination of the West coming in on this session today to talk about the next “C”. We’re out of COVID and now we’re into climate, and I just had two weeks immersed in that environment and so appreciative of the leadership that British Columbia has been taking for many, many years about raising the flag about climate in the climate risks. And so we’re appreciative of the leadership that they’ve taken and that some of these folks are going to speak of and then holding down the fort we have someone from Ontario. Shalaka, I thank you for coming on so that we make sure that we’re not just having a conversation among Westerners, but we’ve got some other voices coming in. As I said, I happen to be in Toronto today where it’s chilly. This is the traditional territory of many First Nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Annishnabec, the Chippewa, the Haudenasaunee and the Wendat peoples. And it’s home to, as we know, many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Metis. Two treaties here, the Mississaugas of the Credit and the Williams Treaty. We are at the CUI coming to terms moment by moment of all the ways in which urbanism has been historically exclusionary and the what the real implications are of truth and reconciliation for us. And again, I just want to acknowledge that our colleagues on the West have been on the forefront of this conversation around reconciliation and also its implications and its connections to climate for many, many years. And we have we need the rest of the country to continue to learn from you, folks. The other thing is we we also are confronted, I think by the extent to which urbanistic practices have been anti-racist – or have been racist, rather than have been anti-Black and need to become much, much more confronting of our own biases and our own ways in which these reinforce have reinforced exclusion. And so all of these things are a part of the challenge for any city builder moving in this space now is that we have to just work in a very different way than we have historically worked. So I appreciate people coming on this call today to talk about the other “C”, climate and a number of these folks are heading off to Glasgow. I can see from Shauna’s backdrop it looks to me like she’s still in at home in Vancouver, but I’m going to start by each of you just telling us a little bit about – I guess what I what I think the audience needs to hear and everybody just a reminder that the chat is open and lots and lots of people are checking in to tell us where you’re tuning in from. That’s always valuable for us to have. We taped these sessions, they’re available for viewing afterwards, and a lot of people do watch them late at night. They watch them or classes watch them. So we encourage people to participate in the chat so that the panelists can respond and I will feed into the chat. Just remember, we post the chat too. So anything that goes there stays there, and we appreciate people’s candor. And we also appreciate people sharing ideas and resources. And you have a whole parallel universe over there you chat people, so please use it. So I’m going to ask each of the group to talk to us just briefly about where you think we’re at in terms of the climate discussion. We have a new minister. What does that mean? There’s a big delegation going from Canada. A number of these folks are going to Glasgow next week. So talk to us about what you think the challenges are and maybe start to share with us your perspective as we approach COP26. So I’m going to start, if I can, with Rik Logtenberg. And so and also just identify where you’re coming in from and what your role is. So, Rik, over to you first. Thanks.

Rik Logtenberg [00:04:36] Thanks, Mary. It’s great to be here I am Rik Logtenberg, City Councilor in Nelson, BC on the traditional territory of the Sinixt, the Ktunaxa and and the Syilx. And I’m the founder of Climate Caucus, which is a national network of mayors and councilors across Canada, focused on climate action and a member of a number of climate focused committees like the UBCM Climate Action Committee and the BCMCLC. But a lot of letters there. So my my perspective very briefly is is coming from coming from the city and looking at what multi-level action looks like in terms of climate. You know, we’ve traditionally seen this as an international problem, but with the collective action problem inherent in climate change, the fact that this is a social dilemma as it were in terms of how do you get people to look beyond their personal self-interest to act collectively. I don’t think we’ve ever had a challenges as big as climate change. And every time we make these commitments, we once again see that individual or parochial self-interest tends to take over and undermine action, which is why cities are so critical. We we are used to mobilizing our communities to act and for, for, for the common good. And we’ve got a proven track record, and I think that if we’re going to meet our targets, it’s going to be because cities have stepped up and led the way.

Mary Rowe [00:06:11] I want to come back to that, of course, because as you say, this has been a discussion that many people, I think, have thought it was distant from them. It was something that they didn’t have much agency over. And so obviously that’s part of why we are having you here and why we think it’s important for the urban audience to start to come to terms with what can you actually do? So I’m going to go to you next Juvarya and just tell us a little bit about you and your perspective and and what your priorities are as we head into this momentous couple of weeks that are ahead internationally.

Juvarya Veltkamp [00:06:42] Yeah. Thank you, Mary, and thanks for having me. Building on what Rik was saying, I mean, I guess it’s Mark Carney made it famous with the terminology, the tragedy of the horizon, right? So these things were out on the horizon. We were discounting them. Some of us, some of us were not. But the reality is that horizons come up to meet us, right? So the impacts of climate have happened a lot faster than anyone has predicted. Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, so I think we are at a critical point. I’ve heard lots of people say, you know, the Paris was about commitments. Glasgow is about action. We need to take action. The window is closing. The IEA has said that we have just a few months. I mean, this year we were supposed to have no more oil and gas investment. So we’ve got a few months. We’re seeing lots of pension funds commit to fossil fuel free. So that’s amazing. My perspective is, I think, you know, climate and economy are two sides of the same coin. You can’t address climate without changing pretty much fundamentally our economy, and to change the economy I think we need better tools to make decisions. So we need to understand more currencies than just dollars and cents. We need to understand carbon as a currency, social equity as a currency, ecosystem services and natural capital. These are all currencies we have failed to sort of incorporate. And there’s so many great women economists doing great stuff in this space with Kate Raworth and Mariana Mazzucato heroes of mine. So so I focus on the economy side. I work for the City of Vancouver for 10 years, figuring out how we can grow a more green, resilient economy. What should we be measuring? What does that look like? And I was privileged to learn a lot from that experience. And then as of last year, I work with an organization called Canada Climate Law Initiative out of UBC, and we work with directors across the country to help them understand climate change and climate risk because they’re going to set that culture, that value system from the top of organizations. If they don’t get it, nobody is going to get it. So we offer free education for directors across Canada.

Mary Rowe [00:08:51] Wow, you just threw out a whole bunch of things that I want to come back to, all the currency discussion and and to call it to Kate and Mariana Mazzucato, I was on a thing yesterday for World City, that big, huge thing that’s been going on for three days. And I had Dan Hill on and he who’s in Sweden, and he was talking about designing the one minute city. And of course, his muse is Marianne Mazzucato. But he also had Brian Eno in the mix, but could also get input on these things. So these conversations are happening at a bunch of different scales and a bunch of different domains so we’ll come back and follow up with some of the specifics that you came to. Shauna, I’m leaving you for last, so I’m going to go to Shalaka now, who is, as I say, holding up the Ontario end. And let’s hear your perspective if we can, and also just for everybody listening. Everybody’s bio is in the chat, so you don’t get long introductions here, and I encourage people to use the chat to ask questions. Once you hear the introductions. Go ahead Shalaka, over to you.

Shalaka Jadhav [00:09:44] Yeah, thanks. Thanks, Mary. I actually just do a quick correction there. I’m joining from Treaty One Territory, so the Metis homeland, and that’s because I’m in grad school, so I’m based out of Winnipeg right now.

Mary Rowe [00:09:55] Well, that’s good. I didn’t actually know you were in Winnipeg. That’s great. Even better, even better. Even better. Yeah, I’ll hold down the Ontario perspective there. I’m happy. We’re happy to have you from Treaty One. That’s great.

Shalaka Jadhav [00:10:06] Yeah, thanks. Yeah, I think something that’s really interesting to me going into COP, and this will be my first COP, is is the conversation around the interconnectedness of the climate crisis. You know. Until Canadian cities acknowledge that interconnectedness, we’re not really equipped to change much at all. Climate justice is racial justice, is housing justice, and land justice. And I do feel like right now where cities are declaring these incredible climate emergency are actually failing twofold by failing to bring in climate justice into all those decision making processes, but also seeing all these interconnected issues as as or failing to see these issues as, yeah, areas of action on the road to climate justice. And so my work with Youth Climate Lab is around design work for for young people across Canada and globally. And something that I’m really observing in the shift of conversation and that I think cities need to pay more attention to is the emergent labour issues that we’re also colliding with and against with the climate crisis. Labour is a deeply unaddressed area of action within the space and particularly in the Canadian context, and there’s fantastic folks doing that work. But I think continue to mainstream that conversation is really key to fill those gaps, especially when we talk about economic development in city contexts. We need to do so in a model that centers labour and enables those entry points for folks who maybe aren’t seeing themselves as part of the climate conversation quite yet.

Mary Rowe [00:11:33] Wow, that’s important, too. OK. Gee, Shauna, your co panelists are giving you a whole bunch of things that you can touch on, but you can talk for yourself initially. Let’s hear about the leadership that you’re providing at the Wosk Centre. And also, I know you’re heading to Glasgow in that you have quite a delegation of folks that are going with you. So over to you, Shauna, and you’ve been in this, you’ve been in this field for some time. So we’re interested in your perspective. Go for it

Shauna Sylvester [00:11:56] In the field for some time, but absolutely brilliant panelists. I’m sitting here going spinning in several different directions as I as I’m listening. So the Centre for Dialogue has really been focused on looking at the coordination and collaboration among cities. And I want to talk to all of the mayors, councilors, city staff out there in the Canadian or Canadian Urban Institute world and just say that you know what this is. You know where you’re at on this situation. You might be dealing with it in drain, you know, storm drains. But really and I think Shalaka has named it, the integration of all of the issues that you have to address right now is so critical on climate. Whether you’re dealing with how to save seniors lives in a heat dome, how to preserve your town is, as we’ve seen, Lytton through a wildfire. We’ve got one of the most vulnerable cities in Vancouver, which is where I am in the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh, and 10th most vulnerable city in the world on sea level rise. There are so many things better on the plates of our cities that they never had to deal with in the same level. And so COP is extremely important right now, in a sense, is a pivot point, not just talking about climate, but renegotiating the relationship of cities to other levels of government, to other industry associate associations. And it’s it may be the entry point is climate, but really you’re touching it on health, racial equity and justice. You’re touching it on housing affordability. All of those issues that cities are on the front line having to address. So such a critical moment. And I and I don’t want us to lose that because it’s really easy to see COP as this big, oh god, it’s just another big conference. And maybe it is to some extent for some, but this is a transformational moment for cities.

Mary Rowe [00:13:50] So let’s can we talk, let’s zero in on that and Abby Slater’s put a question in here about gender lens, so I’m sure that folks will want to weigh in on that too. But before we go to that, Abby, we’ll get to it. Don’t worry, Shauna, the the COP stands for the Conference of the Parties. Right. And municipalities are not considered a party. Correct.

Shauna Sylvester [00:14:12] They are not considered a party. And in fact, one of the big things that’s happening at Glasgow is is that each country comes to the table with a nationally determined contributions. That’s the commitment they’re making to the international world community about what we’re going to do. Cities are not even recognized in Canada’s nationally determined contributions. Right. So this notion of cities having a perspective and yet the innovation, the action, the real effort going in to address climate is coming at an urban level, it’s coming at the city level. So much of the any reductions we’ve seen, I think cities could take a lot of credit for it in Canada. And so this has to change and and I think that there is a willingness to change that. We’re seeing cities are part of the Canadian delegation. We’re seeing more cities take this seriously. We’re seeing we’re doing daily briefings for cities and local government with government so that it’s really clear the role that cities are playing and that they’re part of part of the COP. There are many different processes.

Mary Rowe [00:15:19] Folks, why don’t you open your mics? Because it’s just us. It’s not that big a group. And I’m not worried that unless some of you has a mule and cat in the background, I just think it’s easier if the mics are all open and then you can jump into the conversation at any point. So feel free to do that so you won’t have to unmute yourself just and it. If it interferes, we’ll do it differently. And a couple of things on this. The idea that when you say cities, Shauna, I think you mean municipal governments.

Shauna Sylvester [00:15:46] Yes. Local governments. Big, small.

Mary Rowe [00:15:48] Yeah, yeah. Town governments. I mean, we’ve got some folks or somebody coming in from Bayfield. So we’ve got small communities here and then we on this and then we have larger cities. But that piece is that we’re talking about municipal government. And then Rik, you started by saying, I think this is part of the dilemma is that the impacts of climate change are felt in municipal government. They have to deal with the stormwater and the flooding and the bomb, whatever it was called the heat bomb and the sudden weather changes, so it cost municipal governments money. It also has all sorts of public health implications, which in some parts of the country is funded by municipal government. But I also think at the same time, are we saying that there are actions that local governments can take to actually effect change, so it’s both impact and change? Have I got it right, Shalaka? Is it both?

Shalaka Jadhav [00:16:44] Yeah, this is this is really interesting because I think working in the youth space and particularly the intersection of youth and climate work, we’re really used to being on the short end of the stick in terms of funding, you know, and yeah, a lot of times it’s because funding is addressed towards infrastructure work, right? And we really need to shift that narrative. That infrastructure work doesn’t include capacity building opportunities, right? It’s so fundamentally important to find and support the people power needed to meaningfully address climate change, especially people who remain underfunded, including racialized youth for disabilities and across across a spectrum of identities. You know, we were recently looking at placemaking grants with cities and and a lot of them are asking for infrastructure impacts and why aren’t we see community work as infrastructure building work itself. Right. And and it brings to question the challenges that we need and the questions we have to pose around revamping the very cordial metrics of evaluation themselves in context of climate and cities. You know, a lot of a lot of us youth led orgs are leading on these fronts asking these, asking funders for more, more ambitious evaluation as well. But we do risk it at, at, at making the same sort of impact on on paper as as maybe organizations are asking for.

Mary Rowe [00:18:04] I’m interested in your notion of people power, people as infrastructure. I like this side of this language that you’re using and you raised labour and said, we’re not really looking carefully at labour. Sometimes I feel that we sort of do a little sort of side reference to, Oh, there’s the green economy, but you’re actually saying something deeper than that, right? You’re actually zeroing in on what are the implications to workforce development? Am I right? Do you want to expand on that a bit more?

Shalaka Jadhav [00:18:34] No, that’s that’s exactly right. Like in terms of framing the conversation as green economy, we’re we’re still, you know, in in that framework, we’re in that sort of set of words put together in that order. It’s still not quite prioritizing labour rights, right? In terms of precarity and all these know things that that support us and hold us up in order to do the things that we want to do. And I’m really curious about how other folks are sort of engaging with these conversations of labour, too, because in the youth space, it’s it’s very much, you know, we joke it’s full of dread and and it’s hard out here. But I’m curious with with other folks as I want this to sort of have this intergenerational space for conversation, know how are you sort of upholding that, that kind of conversation for young people or people in your workforce?

Mary Rowe [00:19:22] Well, and I’m wondering at Juvarya could come in because she is the economist saying, I’m thinking about the money, honey. And so where is the money piece on this? Because you mentioned, you know, these economists, both whom happen to be women, interestingly, but they are starting to say, we’re counting the wrong things. And I don’t it, sometimes it can get a little overwhelming, you know, because the GDP rise, every time we have a disaster and there’s a whole bunch of infrastructure investment to fix it, the GDP rises. I was in New Orleans during this and watch this that the GDP in Louisiana rose when the when the place was devastated. So how do we, how can we merge these conversations, Juvarya? Can we?

Juvarya Veltkamp [00:20:05] I mean, it’s such a complex issue, and I absolutely appreciate even Greta Thunberg, you know, in her last speech was like, “net zero blah blah blah, a green economy, blah blah blah.” So I mean, I appreciate that frustration with slowness and maybe not having labour at the table, perhaps with those conversations. I think those cities are this great incubator of ideas, right? And so, you know, going back to green economy and Vancouver, it was part of the Greener City Action Plan, which was over 10 years, and so many outcomes came out of that. We were incubating these ideas. We looked at building codes at the city level. Right now, new buildings pollute 70 percent less carbon. But alongside that, we looked at those building codes and it was shifting demand towards heat pumps and high-performance windows and all this technology and solutions. And then we mapped thar further and that led to, you know, thousands of jobs in Metro Vancouver, in manufacturing, in industries that create IP locally. So so I think we incubate these ideas. I was so excited last year. I think it was the federal budget when you looked at it and I was like, Oh my God, it looks like the Greener City Action Plan at a federal scale, because now we’re saying, let’s do retrofits, let’s invest in electric vehicles. But I appreciate that distinction like that’s going into infrastructure. I have a heat pump hot water heater right here, but someone came and installed it. Now they’re gone. Right? Well, I think it was made here. But if you have if you look at other jurisdictions in the Nordic countries, for instance, they didn’t just do that. They came to I’m going to townhouse complex coming from traditional territories of Squamish and Squamish nation. And if we did the whole townhouse complex, that would have made the difference. We get so much sun. We could have put solar panels on the roof. And so we need to not just do these like, you know, single interventions, we absolutely need to do it at scale.

Mary Rowe [00:22:08] You know that the our friends at ICLEI the who, I’m sure, are going to COP26 with you, Shauna and gang. Who’s going, how many of you are going to Glasgow? You’re all going! Fantastic, fantastic, and we’re going to talk with you, I hope while you’re there. But I know the ICLEI gals who happen to be women. Megan and Eva, talk about multi-solving, they have this phrase multi-solving, which I so appreciate that you don’t ever make an investment only for one purpose. And it’s interesting to go to you, Rik, in terms of what could happen locally. What Juvarya just suggested could be done locally. Like you could have couldn’t you have municipal regulations that had that more integrated circular economy approach? And we don’t have to wait for the federal government or the provincial government to give us permission. Don’t you have wiggle room where I mean, I don’t know. I can see Juvarya saying, well, I’m not so much, but I want to hear from Rik. What can he do as a council member and what can his municipality do?

Rik Logtenberg [00:23:02] Well, there’s there’s so much that I want to touch on, but it’s not on that first. Yes, the cities can do a lot, but we are obviously limited by being subsumed under the provincial. We have a very limited provincial mandate, but within that there is quite a bit we can do. And I think recognizing cities as the sort of the hubs of innovation is really important. And because coming along with that, cities have the opportunity to experiment and try things. And and what what’s often forgotten in government is that failure is just as important as success. And we often are really risk averse and or we we only wait until something is proven before we take a stab at it. Know we need to transform that in Canada and around the world so that cities are willing to take more risks knowing that they’ve got some backstop from of higher levels of government.

Mary Rowe [00:23:58] Well, during COVID, they did take risks, right, they had to because there were certain situations and they did. I mean, everybody said it was like a big global pilot. People tried stuff. But I hear you on that that, you know, you don’t, you want governments in some way to be risk averse. You don’t want them to go and try something because if it fails, it can affect millions of people. But this kind of speaks to can we get this down to smaller units and try some stuff where you minimize some risk? And then if it works, how do you quickly get it to.

Rik Logtenberg [00:24:29] Give two quick examples of that. The first is related to Nelson is fairly unique in Canada in that we own our own power generating utility. We have our own dam. And so our city council is also the board of directors for that utility, and it gives us the ability to try things that no other municipality can try and the big utilities don’t want to try because they’re too big. And so we piloted a demand side management program called Eco Save seven years or eight years ago. We’re really trying to push retrofits and the building retrofits. What we found was the uptake. The marketing was really difficult. We had to experiment with a lot of things. We finally clicked on something that really worked, which was tying an e-bike program, an e-bike subsidy program into it. So we now give up to eight thousand dollars for the purchase of an e-bike. And we use that opportunity to talk to people about now that you’re on the path to climate action, look at all this other great stuff you can do and our uptake on retrofits that just went way up. Now how that kind of impacts the federal government, we’re already sort of sharing that idea, and more and more governments are picking up on it. But we also found that in terms of our our consultation with the federal government on their Greener Homes program, which is the national retrofit program, they came into it without a lot of experience and they did sort of source some ideas. But we’ve been doing it and we gave them feedback throughout the process and even challenged them on something fundamental that comes back to the economy, which is you can’t just throw money at the problem. There’s not enough contractors to do the work, there are not enough heat pumps out there. And what we saw pretty quickly was a really rise in price or just a complete collapse in demand, which then undermined people’s confidence in climate action in general. And so cities are really important in terms of operationalizing these big ideas that are coming from the federal level and other otherwise. I guess you get these sort of localized inflation or maybe broad scale inflation is money is just being thrown at that transition. And Shalaka I want to come back to you not now, but come back to the youth part of it because that’s something else that I think is really an essential piece, but I’ll just leave it at that.

Shauna Sylvester [00:26:39] I want to just, what Rik is saying is gold. Like you have just got a master class in how to take this concept of climate and really address it in a cobenefit in a community. I happen to be from Nelson originally, so I have a certain soft spot for Nelson. But the thing that Rik’s talking about is we can we can have all the pledges, we can all the aspirations we want. It’s at that level of how do you put this and implement it? How do you track? How do you innovate. Juvarya and the work that the Vancouver Economic Commission did in the work has been some of the most brilliant. Look at what cities are doing in trialing, really trying. And labour’s really in their Shalaka. Because if you’re looking at where the innovation is coming from, it in terms of Indigenous power, who’s leading on some of the renewable energy developments in this country? Look at Indigenous communities. Who’s leading on building the social understanding of these issues? It’s young people. It’s not that they are the future. They are the now like. This is such a comprehensive need that we have and the leadership is coming from places it doesn’t traditionally come from.

Mary Rowe [00:27:52] Or we could say it’s always come from. But we just haven’t, we haven’t had the collaborative infrastructure in place to learn quick more quickly.

Shauna Sylvester [00:28:01] That’s the piece. And that’s what’s happening that’s new. You’re seeing groups like Canadian Urban Institute, you’re seeing other groups come in and really push a collaborative mindset. Let’s say, OK, we’re each taking a piece of the puzzle here. We’ve got to learn from each other. We’ve got to think. We’ve got to create the space for innovation. We don’t all have the answers to this, but let’s look at what we are each bringing to this conversation, and that’s what feels different right now in this moment in time. I went to Copenhagen. Let me tell you, it was really hard sitting next to the press corps just hearing about, you know, what happened to Canada? And then I was there in Paris when I saw Minister McKenna step in after a 10 year absence of Canada. You know, Canada used to win the Fossil of the Year Award. And then we stepped into a role that we knew how to do traditionally, which was to convene, to create a space. This time it’s different. There is something qualitatively different about this year and that’s we all recognize it’s not the time to talk about the doom and gloom. It’s the time to really talk about the solutions in really concrete terms of how to get to net zero and those solutions reside when I look at this panel, each one of the people on this panel brings incredible concepts and solutions. If I go to that chat function, I’m seeing solutions coming up there. Yeah, this is this moment. It is a moment of, I don’t know what else to call it. There is a rise here. A rise to solve. And that’s what we hope Steven Guilbeault, our new minister. We certainly know that Minister Wilkinson wants that. I do believe that those within the Prime Minister’s Office really want to take us to a different level. And you see it with the leadership in Quebec and B.C. and other provinces are real desire to show up differently. And that’s the moment we’re in.

Mary Rowe [00:30:04] Do you feel do you feel that this kind of international meeting, and it’s no coincidence that, well, it is a coincidence, but it’s happening as we continue to struggle with COVID around the world and we’ve been through this extraordinary stress, which is probably quite closely linked to climate change in the first place. So do you feel that that we’ve got up to a place where the urgency is broadly accepted and then and therefore you don’t have to duke it out any more about, well, is it real? Isn’t real? Do you think so that we could move to solutions because I feel like some people just get frustrated, like they just think, oh, there they go again. Do you think solutions is a way – Juvarya you’re nodding your head – is that?

Juvarya Veltkamp [00:30:45] Yeah, I think it’s interesting. I mean, the work I do is across Canada and all kinds of organizations, from oil and gas to construction to, you know, a very wide variety, half to pension plans. And there’s still a little bit of sort of light bulb moments that are being created around understanding perhaps the urgency and just sort of not seeing climate as this political issue, right? I think it’s a business issue. We know it’s here. It has this financially material impact. It’s sad that it had to start having this impact before we were able to sort of use the existing financial system to do anything about it. But I think that system has woken up, right? Like the network for greening the financial system, all these central banks around the world. You saw what happened in 2008 with the financial crisis, the brink of disaster, right? People losing their jobs around the world because of a mortgage crisis in the US. It’s all interconnected and COVID. I mean, people say, oh, doesn’t COVID distract people from climate? No, it finally showed people. This is we’re so interconnected if something big like this happens it can all fall down. And so central banks are waking up and saying it could all fall down. We need to know what this climate risk is, where it is, how do we price it? How do we get a handle on it? I think the risk is in Canada. We’re still sending the wrong market signals, though, right? Like, we’re still supporting through subsidies industries that have a lot of this climate risk. And so we’re not seeing that risk. We’re not able to like there’s so much confusion around that because industries are supported by and I absolutely think we need to know how to do a just transition. We need that vision to show. Here’s the alternative. Here’s how we’re going to retrain. Here’s how we’re going to get people shifting into the economy of the future. We know those jobs exist. We know that retrofits and clean energy create actually more jobs per million dollar revenue than some other kinds of industries. We just need that pathway. We need someone to show it and say that it’s OK and we can do this.

Mary Rowe [00:33:01] So let’s can we talk about the pathway for a second? Then I want to come back to a question that’s in the chat Rob Ventura is asking, Rik I think it’s helpful for you to have a look at it. It has to do with what do you do when you have a gap between a regional government and a local municipality? And and and the the plans might all be there, but the budgets to implement maybe aren’t, and there isn’t necessarily the collaborative infrastructure in place for them to quickly do it. So I want you to think about that for a sec, Ric. But Juvarya, when you talk about the industries and you know, we did in last year, part of a program we do at CUI is called CUI x Local, where we do deeper dives in local communities to listen to locals. And we were in both Calgary and Edmonton and in both of those cities, there was an extraordinarily widespread understanding of what the challenges were around climate and what the economic challenges were because they’ve got Calgary had four hundred empty office floors before COVID. So that and we talked about how they’ve got tacit knowledge with all sorts of people living in those communities who have been problem solving in a particular industry for years, and how do they move their talents and skills and expertise now to this piece? And how do we get to a situation where the industry is a partner and not just demonized, which what happens happens. You know, it’s very short form across Canada just to just completely trash the oil and gas industry when in fact there are people in that industry who are deeply engaged in what a just transition might look like. So I’m interested both you and Qlocker thoughts on that about how do we actually engage those, those those industry sectors that have been seen as the bad actor? How do we move forward on that? You, first Juvarya and then maybe Shalaka, you might step in on that, OK?

Juvarya Veltkamp [00:34:41] Yeah, I think it’s about meeting people where they are. I think you need to understand the mental models that people are working with so that you can meet them and say, sort of let’s test these assumptions and let’s shift them. And that’s why I think these tools for decision-making are so important. At COP, there will be an announcement from the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation. They set the standards for accounting so that currency we were talking about earlier and they have they’re establishing an International Sustainability Standards Board, so they’re going to say, Look, here’s we’ve got lots of information. People and cities report with CDP on climate. Other organizations have used other standards. They’ve been around for a long time, but we’re getting to a point where it is now convening. A lot of these bodies are joining together, and now there’s going to be an international standard. They’ll focus on climate to start with so we can all start talking the same language. And now this idea that we don’t have the data, it’s no longer an excuse. The data’s there, it’s getting standardized, it’s getting comparable, it’s getting consistent. This is really important. Accounting developed over thousands of years, right? And in important tool. And now we’ve had a few decades. We’re accelerating the timeline. This, I think, will be a really important tool. And that headquarters may come to a Canadian city as well, which will be exciting to watch.

Mary Rowe [00:36:02] That’s interesting. This notion of counting and Abby’s comment earlier about gender, you know, Marilyn Waring is an economist from New Zealand, I think not no longer alive, but wrote a big famous book called “If Women Counted” right? And so it’s not like this is a new discourse. We haven’t really been counting the right stuff for some time, and we adjust and we adjust and we adjust. What do you think Shalaka are about engaging the industry? I heard Martha Hall Findlay on the CBC this morning talking about what Suncor is trying to do. Do you have a sense of that and what is your perspective in that? There you are in Winnipeg and you’re closer to the industry there. What do you think the way is to engage them? And then, Shauna, I’m going to come to you. Go ahead Shalaka.

Shalaka Jadhav [00:36:40] Oh yeah, I’m kind of glad I didn’t go first on that one because I think it helps bring us a little bit more balance because I I will admit, I think among the peers in the folks that we’re working with, we’re pretty, yeah. To be frank, like, we’re pretty tired of waiting, like hoping that we can bend so that they can come to us. And this we almost see it in city development where we wait for development. We kind of bend to those those needs, and I think we’re pretty tired of it. I don’t think a lot of people are that keen on that approach. Of course, you know, and this is again where it ties back to labour, right? Like where if a lot of the well-paying jobs and jobs have seemed to have sustainability in the sense of like they can go on and sustain us in a financial way, you know, of course, there’s going to be some attraction there, but that’s not necessarily the way that we can move forward. And I think something that I really like that you said, Juvarya,  was around decision making right. And I want to bring in an important thing that we’ve been talking about in one of our programs at Youth Climate Lab around the seven generation principle, right, so that the decisions that we make today need to result in a sustained world seven generations of the future. And there’s been a lot of conversation that this isn’t just about decision making at local, regional, international levels, but also in relationship building so where every decision should result in sustainable relationships for seven generations in the future. And and one more thing I want to share is a quote by Maryann Kabba, which is around when we’re trying to transform society, we can’t, we have to remember that we ourselves have to transform right? And so our imagination of what a different world can be is pretty limited right now because we’re just so entangled in the systems that we’re trying to organize to change. So I think while, well I think it’s that’s what way you sort of percentage areas is like a very important side of things. But I think kind of speaking for the folks that I work with more closely, we’re pretty tired of bending. We want to move past that a little bit and sort of lead with that seven generations principle.

Mary Rowe [00:38:43] But, you know, systems do flip. I mean, they can they can flip quite quickly. And if you think back when there used to be horses and buggies operating in municipal in cities and it was causing all sorts of environmental awfulness, and then they invested, they invented the combustion engine, and suddenly a lot of things changed, you know? Same with public health. Once they realized that cholera was being spread by contaminated water, they got a hold of that. And then and then things can change quite quickly. And I I keep wondering if this COVID phenomenon that we’ve experienced that threw us onto these platforms and put us put many people into a sort of smaller footprint of living, is that going to hasten us quickly into a new place? And the other thing, Shalaka, that I’m sure you think about too in terms of labour is every retail, business and service business in this country and in the United States and in Europe can’t get people to work. So something big is happening here, right? People are thinking differently about what kind of work they want to do, so it’s all happening around us anyway. Shauna, any insights from you on this?

Shauna Sylvester [00:39:50] Well, it’s interesting because I think there’s an innovation that’s emerged just before COP, which is the Non-Proliferation Treaty on Fossil Fuel Development. And we’ve heard Tzeporah Berman do a TED Talk on that which is using a traditional foreign policy instrument. A Non-Proliferation Treaty to get the kind of attention mainstream attention on something that is critical. Which is if if we are going to address this issue, if we’re going to keep Nelson from burning and Nelson’s very close to burning, one of the most vulnerable towns in terms of a wildfire, if we’re going to keep that from happening we can’t continue to invest in fossil fuel development. And as we did that Generation Energy Dialogs with citizens across the country, I have to say some of the most innovative thinking came from Alberta. And and it was from citizens in Alberta who worked in the fossil fuel industry who said, “We know that this is going to cost money. We know we have to make this transition. We want the commitment of the people and the governments around us to help us in that transition.” And that’s the piece that I think is really – this new government, it has to get to that transition. It really needs to start thinking about those local communities that have to make that transition. And and now I am I am very optimistic about this moment, but I’m also optimistic because I don’t have a choice. I don’t feel like sitting on the West Coast that there is a choice. Yeah, this last year has been hell, absolutely hell for local governments. Hell, I don’t know how else to say it. How do you protect people from dying from a heat dome? How do you protect people from saving their homes? How do you deal with the labour changes that have occurred in our forest industry because of the Pine Beetle? You can go on and on and on, and so the choice is not there. This is not a choice. It is a time of action. And so that’s where I do. Then I can shift to the optimism because if I need to go looking for ideas, I can find them. A number of years ago, I was part of a movement called Renewable Cities. It was about creating commitments to 100 percent renewable. We wanted to go beyond the commitments and beyond the pledges, and we started to look around the world. Where were the examples of cities actually transitioning? And you can find them. And that is what I’m really excited about doing at this time is going back, finding out where is the leadership and where is it coming from and how do we share that with local governments in Canada? How do we share that? So we’re going to be recording every single night from COP with Canadian Urban Institute, with our partners, ICLEI, C40. We’re going to be briefing every single night, 6:30 p.m. Glasgow time. Any local government, anyone can tune in to that, that briefing and we’re going to try and bring some of the best thinking to Canada and really help local governments here and all of the people that make up our local governments. Because when I’m saying local governments, I’m not just talking about councils and mayors, I’m talking about the whole community that makes up our local governments.

Mary Rowe [00:43:29] Well, and we will be posting on CUI’s website and we’ll be sending a blast out, just letting people know that that daily briefing is happening and that people can. And of course, the media will be full of it. We all know that. But but Shauna, in terms of a sort of outcome for Canada and this notion of trying to, you know, we’re not seen as a party to COP, but we’re obviously a party. Municipal government is obviously a party to everything else in Canada. So do you have a sense of what kind of infrastructure you want to? I’m talking about collaborative infrastructure and not roads and bridges. Have you got a sense of what new might are is that what you’re going to be working the halls trying to see if you can make happen. Some new kind of collaborative people or something something. What do you think?

Shauna Sylvester [00:44:12] So first of all, cities are really clear on what they want. They want integrated planning. They want to see climate and every single meet, every single strategy that we come out with. There’s no longer the separation. We want integrated planning. Yes, money, but we want performative targets next to that. It’s not just an issue of money, it’s money that is addressed to actually decreasing GHG emissions in this country.

Mary Rowe [00:44:37] Can I just back you up on integrated planning? I mean, I think when I hear integrated planning, I’m and we have planners on the call here who will throw in their ideas too. But I’m assuming you mean planning that has a climate lens, but also has an equity lens, has an economic development lens.

Shauna Sylvester [00:44:50] A reconciliation lens.

Mary Rowe [00:44:52] Yeah, what was the last one?

Shauna Sylvester [00:44:53] Reconciliation, racial equity, justice.

Mary Rowe [00:44:56] So all of those things, but also that we don’t I mean, back to multi-solving that. We don’t just say, well, we’re going to invest in transit or we’re going to invest in housing. We have to somehow have these things all linked together so that we have more compact environments. You consume less carbon, you have more access to better jobs for everybody and that you address all this. It’s a really beautiful Venn diagram. Maybe Shalaka can do that when you guys are there, you can accomplish.

Shauna Sylvester [00:45:21] This is why I’m glad Mary Rowe is the head of the Canadian Urban Institute. Because you’ve been thinking about this, you know what that integrated planning is, and one of the beautiful things Mary that I’m seeing is that the more we talk together, the more I’m seeing us collectively develop that shared sense of how we move forward and what each of our roles are within that. It’s one of the nice things for those: we’re not seeing that sort of jurisdictional competition anymore that just everyone’s got a role here. And so that integrated planning, getting through those things.

Mary Rowe [00:45:55] You also had performative targets. That was the second.

Shauna Sylvester [00:45:57] Performative targets. We need to see that we need to see the infrastructure spend those investments to create the capacity around the electrification, the coordinated electrification of our grid. We need to see that medium heavy vehicle electrification so that we can turn see the fleet. I think that both Shalaka and Juvarya and Rik have many, many other ideas here. I could keep going, but I will.

Mary Rowe [00:46:25] Well, that’s good for me, too. Just I just think it’s helpful for people to know what you’re kind of aiming for, Rik. You wanted to get in. I’m going to go to Shalaka and then Juvarya.

Rik Logtenberg [00:46:33] There’s so many good things there, Shauna and Shalaka too. I just want to sort of come back and then I’ll reconnect to what our goals are at COP. So I want to come back to the youth component of this because I think that’s going to be really important, has been really important. Youth have been leading. Greta is a great example of that. But also, I think youth are at this point now where they’re like, what next? There’s so much asking, they’ve been asking. Now they need to, I believe, step up and start to own their leadership. And one of those programs that we’ve been pushing and really supporting here in Nelson, in fact, that I’m on the board of, is the Youth Climate Corps. The idea is to develop the young people provided this sort of leadership training and actual paid employment, good paid employment to do climate work. And that’s both on the adaptation side, whether it be like wildfire mitigation work or on the on the mitigation side, including sort of getting developing the skills around retrofitting and so on. What we’ve been finding, run the program for almost a year now, two cohorts, that young people are ready to go. But there’s this disconnect. The people who have come into the program are already convinced. They’re already, they’re already there. They’ve already started the trajectory of their careers. What we need to do is is take it down a step and start engaging with high schoolers, I think, and build this kind of program right into post-secondary. I mean, secondary education. Like that’s yes, we need to transform the economy. We need to transform industry and all that stuff. But I think we need to transform the school system as well so that young people are are not just learning about this, but they’re learning the practical skills that we need to affect the transformation. And so that’s something I think we can continue to talk about at the national and subnational level as well. Then coming back to some of the specifics on what we hope to achieve at COP in terms of, I think, tightening and building the web of interconnection between the subnational governments. So much positive.

Mary Rowe [00:48:40] You mean subnationals within Canada or subnationals with other places around the world.

Rik Logtenberg [00:48:45] The cities connecting like this is a great example of of a of an organization that’s that’s sort of tied and brought cities together to share information. And even beyond that, I think there’s there’s so much in terms of decision making frameworks that have the C40 has shared around that allows local governments to effectively multi-solve and prioritize and evaluate and manage change. But I think we’re just sort of at the beginning of what’s needed to be done because it’s been a kind of emissions and social justice thinking of it in terms of economics. But we also need to very much bring in the planetary health components like what is the impacts we’re having on biodiversity and ecosystem services and so on. And I think that kind of sharing and finding, like Shauna what you’re going to be doing, finding the cities that are really working. We need to highlight those cities, put them on a pedestal as much as we can and in start emulating them like as soon as possible.

Mary Rowe [00:49:46] And thanks everybody for putting good links into the chat. It’s really helpful in a couple of other things. Shauna, you mentioned Tzeporah Berman and I think a TED Talk, if you could just put her name to the chat, and also Shalaka, you mentioned a book and author Mark Carr, I didn’t quite get it. But if you can remember who it is, can you put it into the chat? That’d be great. Rik, when you talk though, I can just feel myself feeling overwhelmed. So I’m interested what the antidote is to feeling overwhelmed. Like if we want to get it regular folks doing regular things. Somehow we mobilized the whole world to start wearing masks like we did it, right. And we and we somehow adjusted to social distancing. Are there equally profound steps that we could, we could move quickly to? Shalaka and then Juvarya.

Shalaka Jadhav [00:50:36] Yeah. Thanks, Rik, for those prompts. Just in relation to that, for folks who are interested in the chat, I’ve I’ve dropped a infiltration manual that Climate Caucus and Youth Climate Lab worked on last year around getting young people excited about mobilizing around climate at the local level because it poses very different barriers than than maybe some other levels of action. And if people are interested in sharing that with communities, please feel free. We’ve we worked really hard on that resource and it’s quite great. I really like what you were saying, Rik, about young people needing to take action, and I really also want to say here that Indigenous youth have been doing this for a very long time. It’s it’s embedded into a worldview and a way of being. And I understand that Greta has been like the face of that. But I also want to make sure that we’re not just centering white environmentalism in this conversation. In terms of mobilizing around getting people and particularly young people mobilized around climate, I think something that we’re really excited about at Youth Climate Lab is engagement in climate finance at COP26. So climate finance being the local, national and transnational financing drawn from public, private and alternative sources of funding that supports mitigation and adaptation actions around climate. And the reason we’re really interested in this is because it puts into action that piece around, you know, we’ve been we’ve been we’ve been raising our voices, we’ve been mobilizing, we’ve been putting our bodies on the street. You know, when we when you know, our youth is sort of being wasted away in this pretty taxing and very deep grieving process in relationship to the climate and to our world. And so in mobilizing climate finance, we’re working on understanding and demystifying and breaking down those barriers to accessing capital. And we’re really keen on working cross-sectoral in this arena with institutional champions. So if you are on this call and you’re an institutional champion and keen on climate finance, happy to get in touch. But I think that’s a really key mechanism around moving this conversation from this conversation around climate action into actual action, particularly for young people

Mary Rowe [00:52:43] Great, Juvarya.

Juvarya Veltkamp [00:52:45] Yeah. Oh, so many things, so many things, and, you know, when it was 50 degrees here and we woke up on Canada Day and heard about it, and it was obviously this is devastating death and destruction. And I think Shalaka, you bring up a good point, right? We still have resources in this country. Our family, you know, we went and bought an AC. But my family heritage is from Pakistan, and it was 52 degrees for, you know, over a stretch of time. And this is a country where people are not going and buying ACs, right? And so we have to remember, I think it’s something like eight hundred of the top cities impacted by climate are in Asia. In fact, Kiribati in the Pacific islands have bought land in Fiji to relocate their population because they’re going to be underwater. So, you know, this is, as you said, it’s it’s the worst year all around, really. On a positive note, I mean, you were talking about change. Masks is a great example. The example I used to use was Sweden. They shifted from driving on the left to driving on the right, and they talked about it for, I think, over a decade because it’s so hard. How do you do that? Why do we do that? When they did it, it happened overnight, right? You just go to bed, wake up driving on the other side of the road. We can do that. We should go to bed, wake up, drive on the other side of the road.

Mary Rowe [00:54:07] Or maybe just not drive.

Juvarya Veltkamp [00:54:09] Maybe not drive. Yeah, exactly. You know, and I think Shalaka as you were talking about, I think, yes, we should lower the voting age. We should absolutely lower the voting age and have leadership. I don’t think we should transfer all the responsibility to young people because that’s we need to act so quickly. We can’t change all the leaders of older organizations overnight. But whether a leader is young or old, we do need to have self-aware leaders. I think you’re absolutely right. Culture is set at the top and leaders will set that culture. You know, in a parallel discussion thirty percent of adults still are bullied in the workplace. How are we going to get people working towards goals like climate, like equity if they don’t feel safe when they go to work? So we need to change lots of things at the same time, we need to cultivate this good, good leadership. And I think you started to say no in terms of climate finance, and we can’t do it cities alone, right? Three million people move to cities every week around the world. A billion people still lack electricity access. A billion people still go hungry. We, we need private capital. We just can’t do it alone. And so, you know, yes, I agree we need to change so many things. I still think the tools that we have available right now to us is pricing climate risk so that we can mobilize this capital, attract it into the solutions we want, and that creates a framework, right? So the TCFD, task force for climate related financial disclosures has led to now the nature based disclosures. So we can use that framework. Can we introduce social? Can we introduce everything through this framework? And yeah, I appreciate the frustration and I know it can’t happen fast enough. But we’re yeah, let’s not drive on the wrong side of the road.


Mary Rowe [00:56:07] Listen, I’m conscious that you guys are really, really busy, and I know a couple of you have a session that begins in three minutes, another one. So I’m just going to close by saying I feel, just saying, I feel a lot better that four people like you are going to Glasgow to bring the perspectives and the knowledge and the expertise and the hopefulness and the practicality that you have that all of you’ve demonstrated here. I can tell you for someone like me who’s on the edge saying, you know, wringing my hands wondering what next, I just feel reassured that there is a plan and there is a collective energy among you folks, and then magnify that by the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that will be there. And the world will watch with great interest. And I hope growing commitment to the solutions finding that you’re calling us to do right. Fingers crossed. So we will be following you every day. Thank you for doing those briefings and we’re happy to partner and do whatever we can. Perhaps we’ll see you on one of them when Shauna grabs you in the corridor and says, “Hey, come on and do the briefing with us,” who knows. We’ll publish this as we suggested, and if other people on this call, in addition to these panel folks have suggestions about other ways that we can support all of our colleagues that are going to be in Glasgow, let us know at CUI. We’ll do whatever we can do to hold you up and support you in your efforts as you carry the torch for us next week and the week after. So. Best of luck. Thank you so much, Shauna, Juvarya, Shalaka, and Rik. Really great to have you on. And thanks to my colleagues who worked on this session. Really great to have you, and we’re going to see you again at the end. I think it’s November, it’ll go into the chat. It is November 18. Is it? Let me just make sure I’m going to read that properly. Yes, November 18, we’re having a Citytalk and we’re going to hear how it went, so don’t feel too much pressure, gang, but you got a couple of weeks to change the world! It’s on you and we’ll look forward to hearing how it worked out.


Full Audience
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From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at https://canurb.org/citytalk

00:15:26 Abigail Slater (she/her): Hello from Tkaranto
00:16:19 Canadian Urban Institute: Welcome! Folks, please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” or to “everyone” so that we can all see your comments.
00:16:26 Canadian Urban Institute: Attendees: where are you tuning in from today?
00:17:00 Abigail Slater (she/her): Hello Mary & CUI.
00:17:05 Tanya Fink: Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh territories (Vancouver, BC)
00:17:08 Katherine Danks: Hello from Toronto
00:17:24 Richard Joy: Richard Joy, Toronto. ULI Toronto.
00:17:26 Canadian Urban Institute: HOUSEKEEPING: • A friendly zoom reminder, you can see and hear us but we can’t see or hear you • We have closed captioning enabled for today’s session. If you would like to turn it off, please click on the button at the bottom of your screen and disable • We are recording today’s session and will share it online at www.citytalkcanada.ca • We hope this session is as interactive as possible, so please feel free to share comments, references, links or questions in the chat
00:17:31 Rob Ventura: Hello from Essex (SW Ontario)
00:18:53 Lynn Robichaud: Hello from City of Burlington, ON
00:19:22 Ken Kelly: bon chance, team, at COP 26!
00:20:01 Canadian Urban Institute: Rik Logtenberg, Founder and Chair of Climate Caucus and Nelson City Councillor Rik was born in Sudbury, Ontario. He studied Computer Science at Western University in London, but left before graduating to create his first of two startups in Vancouver. In 2001, after selling one of the companies, Rik moved to Nelson where he met his wife, Sonja at the local climbing gym. Together they spent their first few years roaming the mountains as avid hikers, snowboarders, mountain bikers, and rock climbers. Their daughter, Grace, was born in 2011 at the same that Rik launched his most recent company, Timely.
00:20:10 Canadian Urban Institute: Today, Rik is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Timely, a calendar software company that has more than 100,000 customers in 160+ countries around the world. Rik has been a software entrepreneur his entire career and brings both a technical and entrepreneurial perspective to his role as Councillor. His biggest concern is preparing Nelson for the coming impacts of climate change. He is the founder of the Climate Leadership Caucus, an organization dedicated to bringing elected representatives together to build positive local solutions to climate change across the country.
00:20:37 Gary Davidson: Hi All – Gary Davidson in Bayfield Ontario
00:21:59 Canadian Urban Institute: Juvarya Veltkamp, Director, Canada Climate Law Initiative, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia Juvarya brings 22 years of experience, with 16 directly related to climate change, sustainable development and high performance buildings. Prior to joining CCLI, Juvarya provided oversight for the development of low-carbon economy projects and programs for the City of Vancouver, including climate-awareness and corporate education materials to accelerate the adoption of low-carbon solutions and help small- and medium-sized businesses develop climate action plans. Juvarya earned an MBA from the University of British Columbia and a B.A. (Hons) in Economics and Sustainable Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London U.K. She holds the Global Competent Boards Designation (GCB.D).
00:25:18 Canadian Urban Institute: Shalaka Jadhav, Design and Community Manager, Youth Climate Lab Shalaka Jadhav spent their childhood between cities in India and in Dubai, before moving to a neighbourhood spitting distance from Ontario’s largest mall. They are currently hosted on Treaty 1, entangling a long-time curiosity about art-based methods, and their role in enabling unusual connections and collective futures. In their day job, Shalaka designs and facilitates curriculum and workshops that support young people in moving towards just, climate-resilient futures at Youth Climate Lab. Trained as an urban planner, Shalaka is following the advice of an aptitude test to pursue Curatorial Practices at the University of Winnipeg.
00:25:27 Canadian Urban Institute: As Shalaka explores and builds on their work in the climate space as it intersects with their curatorial ethic, they see it to be guided by a walking methodology, carrying forward the work of their ancestors in tending for the land, and woven together by conversations over cups of tea. In 2021, Shalaka became the Curator-in-Residence at the Centre for Art Tapes, and will be an Emerging Curator at the inaugural Visiting Curator Program at the University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery (SoAG).
00:27:12 Canadian Urban Institute: Shauna Sylvester, Executive Director, Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue Shauna Sylvester is the Executive Director of Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, a Professor, Professional Practice in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, a proud mother and a relationship focused leader. Shauna is committed to excellence in public engagement and hosting difficult conversations. For over 30 years she has served as a convenor and facilitator to hundreds of citizen, community and stakeholder dialogues at the local, national and global level. She has led several complex global dialogues on climate and peace, dozens of national dialogues on democracy, foreign policy and energy and hundreds of dialogues locally on urban issues such as transportation and housing.
00:27:22 Canadian Urban Institute: As a social entrepreneur, Shauna is the Co-founder and first Executive Director of five Pan-Canadian initiatives: the SFU Public Square, Renewable Cities, Carbon Talks, Canada’s World and IMPACS – the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society, a media and democracy organization that operated in Canada and in conflict and post-conflict zones around the world.
00:27:26 Abigail Slater (she/her): It’s interesting to consider bringing climate Justice lens to policy development in the way gender lens analysis was supposed to be a factor in policy. We have moved on to racial and climate Justice as another lens. Please speak to how we can ensure this approach since gender lens analyses have met only with moderate success.
00:29:46 Abigail Slater (she/her): Thanks Mary. No rush and thank you for clarifying what COP stands for.
00:31:21 Shalaka Jadhav (they/she) – Youth Climate Lab: I really like this prompt Abigail, but want to perhaps provide a complication: does a lens framework actually WORK? Can we create copy-paste tools like GBA with any effectiveness when context and capacity-work to activate that kind of analysis often lack, or fail to hold up community nuance? Particularly on arenas such as racial justice? Been thinking on this lots, so thank you for sharing!
00:35:04 Abigail Slater (she/her): Shalaka that is exactly my question. Thank you. I would posit that the gender lens framework has not worked. I look forward to hearing your approach and thoughts on this.
00:38:13 Shalaka Jadhav (they/she) – Youth Climate Lab: fyi, Youth Climate Lab has a audio blog series coming out on multi—solving hosted by youth from the Global South: https://www.youthclimatelab.org/cop26
00:38:33 Abigail Slater (she/her): Another thought. We haven’t exactly moved on from
Covid (I know Mary did not mean this literally) but hasn’t the case been made that pandemics and climate change are inextricably linked? Whether habitat destruction leads to infected animals migrating (true we don’t yet know origin of Covid) or the rise of insect borne disease as the climate warms and insects migrate to those warmer climes. Would the tie in give opportunities to garner more support to battle climate change? It’s much more recent and real.
00:39:30 Abigail Slater (she/her): Not on the “horizon”.
00:39:38 Shalaka Jadhav (they/she) – Youth Climate Lab: For folks to whom multi-solving is new, multi-solving is an approach to problem solving that uses an intersectional lens to look at how problems are connected to each other, and how solutions can be crafted to solve multiple issues at once.
00:40:03 Lynn Robichaud: Co-benefits!
00:41:33 Abigail Slater (she/her): And in Ontario EV subsidy was one of the first things cut. (Not E bikes)
00:41:36 Rob Ventura: Working for an upper tier municipality, I have experienced a lot of disconnect between the upper tier and local municipalities on climate action plans (mostly on the implementation side). I fear there is a lack of developing regional actions due to failure of incorporating climate action into our budgets (both short term and long term). Do any of the panelists have thoughts on this and how to move forward?
00:45:04 Abigail Slater (she/her): It’s heartening to hear optimism.
00:45:10 susan harrington: WELL said – yes Rise to Solve – thank you panelists and CUI
00:51:40 Bryan Buggey: We need to land that new organization in Vancouver!! Just sayin’
00:57:22 Rob Ventura: Well said Shauna!
01:00:45 Abigail Slater (she/her): This hoes back to “lens” approach. Can Shalaka speak to this??
01:00:53 Abigail Slater (she/her): *goes
01:01:35 Rob Ventura: No idling policies in Ontario! BC has it..
01:01:59 Rob Ventura: bylaws*
01:02:25 Shauna Sylvester, she/her, SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogu: Please take a look at the http://www.citiescop26.ca info site
01:02:49 Shalaka Jadhav (they/she) – Youth Climate Lab: If folks are interested, Youth Climate Lab & Climate Caucus worked on a youth-led manual on engaging local government on climate: https://www.youthclimatelab.org/infiltration-manual
01:03:12 Shalaka Jadhav (they/she) – Youth Climate Lab: Youth Climate Lab also has a audio blog series coming out on multi—solving hosted by youth from the Global South: https://www.youthclimatelab.org/cop26
01:04:10 Bryan Buggey: For green jobs and youth, check out this NYC program called Green City Force. https://greencityforce.org/
01:04:11 Shauna Sylvester, she/her, SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogu: C40 and the Global Covenant of Mayors – Check out the Race to Zero
01:05:35 Shauna Sylvester, she/her, SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogu: Tzeporah Berman’s TED Talk on Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
01:07:24 Shauna Sylvester, she/her, SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogu: Important to talk about one of the priorities of cities has been increasing more funding for cities in the global south
01:07:47 Shalaka Jadhav (they/she) – Youth Climate Lab: http://mariamekaba.com/: “when we set about trying to transform society, we must remember that we ourselves will also need to transform. Our imagination of what a different world can be is limited, as we are deeply entangled in the very systems we are organizing to change”
01:08:44 Canadian Urban Institute: Keep the conversation going #citytalk @canurb You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our sessions at https://www.canurb.org/citytalk CUI extends a big thank you to our partner on today’s session, SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, and to TD for their support on CityTalk.
01:08:45 Andrea Hedley: CivicSpark: youth climate corps project in California focused on building local government capacity to implement climate policy – big impact over 6 years the program has been running https://civicspark.lgc.org/our-impact/
01:09:26 Canadian Urban Institute: Throughout COP26, the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University, in partnership with CUI, C40 Cities, ICLEI Canada, and the Canadian Urban Sustainability Practitioners (CUSP) will be providing daily updates from Glasgow between November 1 and November 11, 2021 from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. GMT/UTC. Each briefing will include an overview of city-related updates from each day of the conference, followed by a fireside chat with a climate leader or expert who is attending COP. To join the briefings, visit https://www.citiescop26.ca/roadtoglasgow
01:09:45 Shalaka Jadhav (they/she) – Youth Climate Lab: We need to do this together, but we can’t do it alone, yes Juvarya
01:09:46 Shauna Sylvester, she/her, SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogu: it’s small island states who shifted the global mindset that 1.5 degrees was the more appropriate maximum not 2. degrees
01:10:14 Canadian Urban Institute: We hope you will join us once again on November 18, post COP26, where we will reflect on the biggest takeaways from the summit and what’s next for cities. More information to follow, but be sure to register in advance! https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_S2X_qElTR3mqoPrY7Fam7A
01:11:37 Shauna Sylvester, she/her, SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogu: And paying lots of offsets because this is hard getting onto a plane
01:12:01 Shalaka Jadhav (they/she) – Youth Climate Lab: This hopefulness is a very powerful thing, and what a way to lead!
01:12:04 susan harrington: Thank you this was a very enlightening session . Good luck in Glasgow .
01:12:30 Rob Ventura: Thank you to Mary and all the amazing panelists.
01:12:33 Stephanie Johnstone-Laurette: Thank you folks!
01:12:36 Andrea Hedley: Great conversation! Thank you!
01:12:46 Katherine Danks: Fantastic session! Thank you all!
01:12:56 Sean Cameron: Thank you all, best of luck in Glasgow!