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Conversation key terms

The following key concepts and ideas relate to the questions you’ll be discussing in your breakout groups. These concepts may be pretty familiar, but taking a minute to define them can help us get into the groove of our conversation.

Livelihoods: Our livelihood is our means of meeting our basic needs, such as food and shelter. How do we get income, whether it’s through earned wages, running a business, farm or something else?

Income security: Having income security means having enough money to meet our basic needs on a regular basis, including having some sense of security about the future.

Climate change: The rise of global temperatures and its impacts on weather systems. Current climate change is caused by human activities like the burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas). These activities release heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the air. Climate change has many negative effects, like flooding, food shortages, spread of infectious diseases and more. Both climate change and our responses to it cause changes to our economies, including how we earn our livelihoods.

Net-zero emissions: A country, community or economy with net-zero emissions either releases no greenhouse gases into the air or it counteracts its emissions through activities that remove greenhouse gases from the air, such as tree planting. It is one strategy for responding to climate change. Canada has a commitment to get to net zero by 2050.

Community resilience: A community’s ability to meet, respond to and recover from complex challenges like climate change and the transition off fossil fuels.

Basic income: Income support from a government to an individual to ensure everyone is able to meet their basic needs and participate in community. It could be used to provide support to people whose jobs are impacted by climate change or by Canada’s commitment to transition to net-zero emissions, and it could give people the time and money to explore climate solutions in their community. The idea was piloted in Manitoba in the 1970s and in Ontario from 2017-2019.

Just transition: A system that would protect those whose jobs and communities are affected by the net-zero transition, including by connecting them to new jobs/industries, providing necessary training or education, or income supports for workers transitioning to new jobs. As well as protecting fossil fuel workers, the term Just Transition is also used to talk about how the transition can promote prosperity, stability and justice for everyone.