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About the Green Resilience Project

The Green Resilience Project partners with local individuals or organizations to host community conversations or action oriented engagements that explore and support the connections between climate change, income security, and community resilience.

GRP’s goal is to ensure that climate policies and solutions are inclusive and consider the intersections between climate change, income security, and community resilience. We support the development of climate solutions that meet people where they are, prioritize equity, and offer tangible benefits as this will lead to increased broad acceptance of bold climate strategies. We also aim to integrate a climate change lens into policies and solutions addressing aspects of community well-being, from basic tangible needs to dignity. This approach ensures that the urgency and impacts of the climate crisis are considered to help enhance and expedite effective responses addressing issues like income security, housing, food security, transportation, systemic oppression, and other issues affecting community resilience.

Our approach is quite hands-off, recognizing that our partners are the experts in their communities and issue areas. We believe that the path to addressing the climate crisis at the scale we desperately need starts with listening to community members, and direction for how to do that must come from within communities. We offer funding and optional materials to support and advance the work you are already focused on. GRP is currently accepting new partners: check out our GRP Partner FAQ to learn more about working with the Green Resilience Project.

Project Background

In March 2021, a group of individuals and organizations working in climate change and income security received funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Climate Action and Awareness Fund. The lead organizations included Energy Mix Productions, Basic Income Canada Network, Coalition Canada Basic Income – revenue de base and Basic Income Canada Youth Network. The funds were granted to organize a series of community conversations on the topic of Livelihoods, Incomes and Community Resilience for a Net-Zero Canada. This was Phase One of the project that came to be known publicly as the Green Resilience Project. It was designed to:

  • Explore and document the links between community resilience, income security and the shift to a low-carbon economy through a series of 25 to 35 conversations facilitated by local community partners;
  • Get community perspectives on the ways in which income security policies (like a basic income) can help build resilience and encourage local action on all the aspects of the climate crisis—from the response to local climate impacts to the transition out of fossil fuel employment;
  • Build conversation and understanding across the climate and energy, income security and labour communities, and with those who are too often left out of policy discussions and decisions;
  • Serve as a starting point for local advocacy, collaboration and next steps.

Community resilience—understood here as a community’s ability to meet, respond to and recover from major challenges like the ones brought on by climate change—is an essential part of any plan to bring greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050

Today, community resilience in Canada is under threat in many different ways: from fossil fuel workers worried about job losses; to farmers facing drought, uncertain markets and local depopulation; to communities experiencing poverty, systemic racism, heat waves, wildfires, flooding and more. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that we won’t be able to meaningfully or sustainably confront any of the large, urgent challenges we face without addressing all of them together.

Just as community resilience is closely tied to climate change, income security is essential to building strong, healthy communities with the tools they need to take action on all aspects of the climate crisis. But to date there has been little coordinated effort to ground responses to climate change in resilient communities, supported by adequate incomes and services that make it possible for people to embrace social and environmental transition.

Much of Canada’s transition work to date has focused on fossil fuel communities. But a shift to net-zero by 2050 means big changes for all of us—in the ways we live, work, learn, play and consume. That transition will only be possible with policies that ease anxieties spurred by major change, particularly change that carries any risk of economic insecurity.

Public opinion polls show strong support for action on both climate change and income insecurity. The Green Resilience Project aimed to learn how policies in these two areas can support each other at the local level. By engaging with locally based community partners, we hoped to document diverse viewpoints from a wide range of lived experience, find strategies that take conversation beyond the silos of climate change and income security advocacy and share points of common ground with a wider public audience.

Across communities and regions, we hoped to learn about how the shift away from fossil fuels can be about opportunity and gain, not just loss and pain, by talking our way through two equal and opposite points: 

  • That the right income security plan can ease fear and uncertainty around the shift away from the fossil fuel economy;
  • That a low-carbon economy creates the jobs and local self-reliance that income security is meant to support and supplement.

During Phase One of the Green Resilience Project, we worked with a network of community partners who are already involved in some aspect of the discussion and have the capacity to carry on with their advocacy after their sessions are complete. Learn more about our communities and community partners here.

After each conversation, our community partners created short summary reports highlighting key points from their conversations. These summaries were a crucial resource for final project reporting, as well as a roadmap that communities can use in future advocacy efforts related to low-carbon transition and income security. You can read Community Summary Reports here.

At the end of Phase One, we created a final report that draws on local community reports to connect the dots between community resilience, income security and low-carbon economies. We hosted a launch webinar in April 2022, which is available to watch here.

We have also made our conversation planning materials publicly available for anyone who is interested in hosting a similar conversation in their own community. You can download the resources here.

We are pleased to share that we have launched Phase Two of the Green Resilience Project, and we are currently accepting new partners. We are also managing Transportation Shift, a series of community conversations focused on transportation and Canada’s transition to zero emission vehicles.

For more information about the links between income security and climate action, check out our news and resources page. Please note that the majority of the content in this section was generated between March 2021 and April 2022 during the initial phase of the project.