SSE Canada declares a Climate Emergency

What does it mean to declare a Climate Emergency?

There are many different definitions of what it means to declare a Climate Emergency. We are using the tools created by BLab UK in their playbook for businesses that you can find here.

Declaring a Climate Emergency involves key elements which have been adapted from Extinction Rebellion’s demands.

1. Tell the truth. Acknowledge this is an emergency and treat it as one.
2. Act Now. Take radical steps to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2030.
3. Stronger Together. Work with others to create new solutions together.

As of August 2019, a total of 967 jurisdictions in 18 countries around the world have declared a climate emergency, amounting to 212 million citizens.

What are the facts?

  • We are on track to reach a global temperature rise of 3 degrees by the end of the century ( 2018)
  • We need to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and to zero by 2050 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees (IPCC)
  • Over the past two decades, sea levels have risen by 3.2mm per annum (The Royal Society)
  • The last five years – from 2014 to 2018 – are the warmest years ever recorded in the 139 years that NOAA has tracked global heat (The National Geographic 2019)
  • 60% of wildlife has been lost since 1970 (WWF 2018)
  • Climate change will drive the migration of 200 million people worldwide by 2050 (The National Geographic 2019)
  • With the current rate of soil degradation, we have 60 years of farming left (Scientific American)

What is SSE Canada doing about the Climate Emergency?

Our day-to-day work involves inspiring, catalyzing and connecting social change makers creating business solutions to solve social and environmental challenges. We believe a fundamental change in how we think needs to happen to respond to this crisis and we are helping people unlearn so as to be able to see new solutions to the greatest challenge we are all facing.

Social vulnerability can prove deadly and devastating in the context of the climate crisis. Curiously, the Canadian environmental movement has largely failed to engage racialized and newcomer communities in the transition to a sustainable economy. People in low-income communities affected by the climate crisis have a right to shape climate solutions that will ultimately determine how they fare now and in the future. The School for Social Entrepreneurs has two decades of experience training grassroots leaders in community engagement and organizing. Building on SSE Canada’s deep relationships with social entrepreneurs in Ontario, we launched a program called SELECT (Social Entrepreneurial Leaders Enabling Climate Transitions) with Enviromentum in 2017.

Under SELECT, proven grassroots leaders learn about climate and environmental justice concepts, how to apply them to their own experiences and community context; the basic science behind climate impacts; and evidence-based communication tools. They may also choose to attend elective “deep dive” workshops focused on specific climate action strategies. All workshops are designed with social equity and climate justice at the center.