At a time when climate change is one of the biggest national challenges, elected officials, municipal staff and community partners gathered virtually for the Sustainable Communities Conference 2021: For a renewed tomorrow (SCC), a Federation of Canadian Municipalities event. Canada’s leading sustainability conference is setting the stage for a crucial conversation on solutions to the most urgent environmental challenges. The main topics are focused on the country’s path to net zero 2050, rural, remote, and small community solutions and nature-based solutions.
“With influence over half of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, local governments are key to meeting Canada’s climate goals more than ever before,” said FCM’s president Joanne Vanderheyden. “This is why this conference is so important; municipalities are in the frontlines and understand the urgency as climate extremes from fires and heat to drought and floods continue to hit close to home.”
This event provides a unique opportunity for the sector to convene on the most pressing sustainability issues facing municipalities now and in the future. The conference will also explore key trends in energy and climate innovations, small-community solutions, and natural infrastructure.
“This conference is also about learning from each other and sharing solutions we can bring back to our communities, whether it is pressing environmental issues like increasingly destructive climate events, meeting net-zero targets and building a greener economy that leaves no one behind,” added Vanderheyden.
The three-day event kicked off on October 19 with keynote speaker Dr. Deborah McGregor, who is going to talk about climate action in Canada and its connections with reconciliation, Indigenous justice and nature-based solutions. On October 20, an expert panel presented what’s next for communities in our path to net zero, and on October 21, there will be a keynote address by Dr. Lena Chan on Singapore’s story on growing a city in nature.
Featured image: Clockwise from top left: Carole Saab, CEO, FCM; Mayor Mike Savage, Halifax Regional Municipality; Mayor Kassim Doumbia, Town of Shippagan; Terri Lynn Morrison, Executive Director, Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE); Councillor Ben Geselbracht, City of Nanaimo. (FCM)