You will need to develop people power and build enthusiasm to really get your community’s climate change efforts moving.
On this page, you will find suggestions on how to
- find climate champions
- create a plan
- get funding
- celebrate success
Click a link in the list above to jump to that topic on this page.
A climate-friendly community has
- demonstrated that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is part of their community values
- committed human and financial resources to climate change actions
- conducted a greenhouse gas inventory and set emissions reduction targets
- recruited stakeholders from all sectors of the community
- stakeholders who have a sense of ownership in the community climate change actions
Find climate champions
Whether you are the mayor, a business owner, or a concerned citizen we can all be leaders when it comes to climate change.
Even if your community cannot afford to hire a staff person, finding the climate champions in your community is a key factor to the success of your climate change projects.
Involve people from all sectors in your community:
- the arts
- law enforcement
Each will bring new skills and expertise to our projects and will enhance the image of your climate change project (1).
Some tips for attracting people to your project include tyhe following: (2)
- identify key local issue(s) of concern to the people you are trying to attract
- communicate these concerns and promoting the need for their participation
- involve people who are committed to bringing about climate change
- organize action projects where people can participate and see the results of their efforts
- ensure that people involved feel that their concerns and ideas are being addressed
Meet Captain Planet!
Using a sense of humour to let people know that climate change is not all doom and gloom can be an important part of demonstrating all of the benefits a community can experience when they are climate friendly.
The Morden/Winkler Fire Department made David Thurgar, the community’s local Climate Change Community Challenge/One-Tonne Challenge Coordinator a hero! They made him a superhero suit and David revealed his identity as Captain Planet at the community parade.
Ensure that a wide range of people participate in your community climate change projects.
Create a plan
When it comes to creating a climate change plan for your community there is no need to reinvent the wheel!
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability have partnered to create the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) Program.
PCP uses a five milestone framework for helping communities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These milestones are
- Creating a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and forecast
- Setting an emissions reductions target
- Developing a local action plan
- Implementing the local action plan or a set of activities
- Monitoring progress and reporting results
In 2010, there were eight Manitoba communities in the PCP program and are working on the milestones. These communities are Brandon, Dauphin, Winkler, Morden, Swan River, The Pas, Virden, and Winnipeg.
As with any community project, it is inspiring to generate a plan filled with creative ideas but it can be frustrating to try and figure out how you will pay for it.
If you are new to writing funding applications you may soon find out that it can be a time consuming process. Take advantage of resources and talk to someone who has experience.
Here are some tips on writing successful grant proposals (3):
- do your homework prior to developing a proposal; this includes identifying your “top prospect” funders
- make a personal connection to your “top prospect” funders
- demonstrate that your organization is ready to do the proposed activity
- develop a strong proposal
- package your proposal (format, cover letter, double-check grammar)
Check out the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) – Green Municipal Funds.
One step that is often overlooked when creating a climate-friendly community is communicating the success of your projects!
There are many reasons to celebrate success and there are many ways to do it, from formal awards programs to creating local recognition. Celebrating success recognizes the selfless effort of volunteers, raises the profile of the issues, and lends credibility to projects.
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) lists the top three tips for communicating about sustainability (4):
- Define your target audience
- Be inspiring by telling a story about your success
- Make your communication personal and practical